560 - ~といい (hope)

Hello hopeful students.

I don't want to get your hopes up too much, but I have what I hope will be another informative lesson for you.

I hope you've started to figure out what we're talking about in this lesson.

If you haven't, maybe these quotes I jacked from BrainyQuote.com will help:




Any ideas about what our lesson topic is?

That's right, today we're talking about...

...

...

...

DINOSAURS!

Could you imagine if dinosaurs had evolved to have long arms? A big brain? Twitter profiles?

Had they not gone extinct, it may very well have happened (according to fancy science dudes).

Scary.

So scary, in fact, that I think I should write a novel where Earth is invaded by aliens, and the aliens are dinosaurs hell bent on enslaving the human race.

I know what you're thinking, That sounds like the greatest book of all time. You should stop teaching Japanese and write that instead.

I'll add "alien dinosaur novel" to my to-do list, but it might take me a while finish the book.

Until then, let's study grammar...


JLPT N4: ~といい (I hope that...)

We use the sentence-ending ~といい in order to express that we hope for something or would like something to turn out a certain way.

~といい is very frequently used, so pay attention! Please.

Here's an example:


A:
明日、雪が降らないといいね。
あした、 ゆき が ふらないといい ね。
Let’s hope it doesn’t snow tomorrow.
Literally: “tomorrow, + snow + が + doesn’t fall + と + good + ね.”


B:
うん。いい天気だといいね。
うん。 いい てんきだといい ね。
Yeah, hopefully the weather’s nice.
Literally: “yeah. + good + weather + だ + と + good + ね.”


Basically, all you need to do is state what you want to happen. Then you just add といい to the end of that.

For example, we had 雪が降らない, "it doesn't snow." Then we added といい, giving us 雪が降らないといい, "hopefully [I hope] it doesn't snow."

Since it had ね at the end of it, I decided to translate it as "Let's hope it doesn't snow," though.


Construction

This is easy. All we need to do is put a word in the plain present tense in front of といい.

Specifically, that means putting one of these before ~といい:a verb in plain present tense (ending in ~る), an i-adjective that is not conjugated in any way, a noun or na-adjective followed by だ.

If all of that sounds very confusing, then you probably haven't been reading these lessons for very long. Sorry. We'll review all of this stuff a million times... uh, eventually. So don't worry about it too much.


It is extremely common for ~といい phrases to be followed by な or なあ.

This makes sense because な and なあ are typically used to express longing or yearning. The nuance with these particles is that the speaker is talking to herself:


新しい先生、教えるのが上手だといいな。
あたらしい せんせい、 おしえる の が じょうずだといい な。
I hope the new teacher is good (at teaching).
Literally: “new + sensei / teacher, + teach + のが + skilled + だ + と + good + な.”


Here's another one:

今日中に荷物が届くといいなあ。
きょう じゅう に にもつ が とどくといい なあ。
I hope the package arrives today.
Literally: “today + -in the middle of / -within + に + package / luggage + が + arrive + と + good + なあ.”



~といい is commonly followed by things like けど、のに、or が (i.e. particles that mean "but," "although," etc.) when the thing that is wished for seems unlikely.

This is a bit like saying "it'd be nice if..." in English:


チェックアウトの時間がもうちょっと遅いといいんだけど。
チェックアウト の じかん が もうちょっと おそいといい んだけど。
It’d be nice if the checkout time were a bit later.
Literally: “checkout + の + time + が + a bit more + late + と + good + んだけど.”


Making sentences ending with んだけど might seem a bit intimidating if you're still at N4 level, but this will start to feel pretty natural as you get lots (and I mean LOTS) of exposure to Japanese spoken by native speakers.


⚠ Danger! ⚠

Don't use ~といい if you're talking about something that you have control over.

For example, this sounds strange:


× 5時までに家に帰るといいなあ。
× ごじ まで に いえ に かえるといい なあ。
× I hope I go home by five.
× Literally: “five o’clock + until / by + に + house / home + に + go home + と + good + なあ.”


You shouldn't need to "hope" for things that are under your control, so in a way this makes a lot of sense.

For the above sentence, if we wanted to use といい we would need to put 帰る, "to go home," into the potential form, 帰れる (かえれる // to be able to go home):

○ 5時までに家に帰れるといいなあ。
○ ごじ まで に いえ に かえれるといい なあ。
I hope I can get [go] home by five.
Literally: “five o’clock + until / by + に + can go home + と + good + なあ”


And... you've made it through one more lesson.

This is one lesson in which you would certainly benefit from reviewing the examples and trying to form some of your own.

Talking about things you hope for is human nature, so you'll surely get quite a few chances to use this one in your spoken Japanese.




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