401 - かける

We have a simple, useful grammar point for this lesson:

JLPT N3: ~かける (in the process of)

We attach ~かける to the masu-stem of verbs in order to say "partially VERB" or "in the process of VERB-ing."

In other words, we use this grammar point to show that some action has begun but is unfinished, or began but was unfinished.

It can sometimes be translated to "start VERB-ing (but...)," as in the following example:

彼は何かを言いかけたが、また口をつぐんだ。
かれ は なにか を いいかけた が、 また くち を つぐんだ。
He started to say something, but then he closed his mouth again.
Literally: "he + は + something + を + started to say, + again + mouth + を + shut (one's mouth)."


Let's see how we put that together.

Remember that our construction is:

V-masu-stem + かける

In other words, take a verb, conjugate it into masu-form, then drop off the ます and add かける. Like this:

言う(いう // to say
やる(やる // to do
死ぬ(しぬ // to die
壊れる(こわれる // to break

言います(いいます // say
やります(やります // do
死にます(しぬ // die
壊れます(こわれる // break

言いかけるいいかける // say partially; be in the process of saying
やりかけるやりかける // do partially; be in the process of doing
死にかけるしにかける // be dying; be in the process of dying
壊れかけるこわれかける // break partially; be in the process of breaking


More examples, of course...

息子は夏休みの宿題をやりかけて、遊びに行ってしまった。
むすこ は なつやすみ の しゅくだい を やりかけて、 あそび に いって しまった。
My son did some of his summer homework, then he went to play.
Literally: "son + は + summer holiday + の + homework + を + do partially, + play + に + went."


海で溺れて、あやうく死にかけた
うみ で おぼれて、 あやうく しにかけた。
I started drowning in the ocean, and I nearly died.
Literally: "ocean / sea + で + (almost) drowned (and) + nearly + was in the process of dying."


Level-Up Bonus

When we have a noun coming after the verb, we can change かける to "~かけ + NOUN."

An example:

妹の誕生日に、冗談として壊れかけメガネをあげた。
いもうと の たんじょうび に、 じょうだん として こわれかけ の メガネ を あげた。
On my little sister's birthday, I gave her some partially broken glasses as a joke.
Literally: "younger sister + の + birthday + に, + joke + として + partially broken + の + glasses + を + gave."

All finished. Props to you for reading to the end!




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