497 - ~てから (since)

This lesson is on:

JLPT N4: ~てから (since)

...but didn't we already have a lesson ~てから?

Yes, we did. But that lesson was on using ~てから to talk about doing one action after another one: [NDL #434] - JLPT N5: てから.

Here's an example we saw:


宿題を全部やってから遊びに行きます。
しゅくだい を ぜんぶ やってから あそび に いきます。
I'll go play after I've finished all of my homework.
Literally: "homework + を + all + after having done (=do [and] + from) + playing + に + go."


But the ~てから in this lesson is for marking the point at which a state, condition, or change begins.

Here's an example of ~てから being used to describe the point at which a change began:


ヨガを始めてから、体がやわらかくなった。
ヨガ を はじめてから、 からだ が やわらかく なった。
My body became more flexible after starting yoga.
Literally: “yoga + を + start (and) + from, + body + が + soft + became.”


In this sentence, starting yoga was the starting point for what happens in the second clause: "My body became a lot more flexible."

Translations of sentences containing this usage of ~てから will often use words like "since" and "after."

Since I started yoga, my body has become more flexible.
After starting yoga, my body became more flexible.
My body has become more flexible since I started yoga.

Or the original translation works, too. Take your pick.

The second half of the sentence does not necessarily have to describe a change (like the above example). It can also show the continuance of some state:


大学を卒業してから、もう10年たちました。
だいがく を そつぎょう してから、 もう じゅうねん たちました。
It has already been ten years since I graduated college.
Literally: “university + を + graduation + do (and) + from, + already + ten years + passed.”


This should be review by now, but we're just attaching から, which means "from," to the end of verbs in the て-form.

We spent more time exploring conjugation and sentence formation in the last ~てから lesson. So you might want to review that if you're having trouble putting verbs into て-form and attaching から to them.


Only two more examples, and you'll be done learning this relatively simple--and extremely useful--grammar point.


アメリカに引っ越してきてから、体重が10キロも増えた。
アメリカ に ひっこして きてから、 たいじゅう が じゅっ キロ も ふえた。
I’ve gained ten whole kilos since I moved to the US.
Literally: “America + に + move (residence) (and) + come (and) + from, + body weight + が + ten + kilos + も + increased.”
Note: I wrote "ten whole kilos" in an attempt to maintain the nuance that this is a lot, which is shown by the particle も.


子供たちが家を出てから、うちはとても静かです。
こども たち が いえ を でてから、 うち は とても しずか です。
Our house has been really quiet since the kids moved out.
Literally: “children + が + house + を + went out of (and) + from, + house / home + は + very + quiet + です.”


And you're done!

That was a quick one, yeah?

Reviewing other lessons using て-form may be helpful if you're feeling a little lost:

[NDL #329] - JLPT N5: て-form (Introduction)
[NDL #337] - JLPT N4: て (descriptive connector)
[NDL #343] - JLPT N5: て-form (parallel actions & contrast)
[NDL #365] - JLPT N4: て (reason, cause)
[NDL #434] - JLPT N5: てから




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