29 - It all depends on you.

So, as I was saying yesterday, I had a text convo with my friend Yusuke, and I asked him what he was doing this weekend.

He said:

konshuumatsu? doyoubi wa choufu de nomikai rashii.
This weekend? I guess on Saturday we're going to a party in Chofu.
(Literally: "this weekend? + Saturday + は + Chofu + で + drinking party + らしい")

nichiyoubi wa asami shidai kana? yotei wa nai hazu!
Then Sunday depends on Asami, I suppose. I should be free.
(Literally: "Sunday + は + Asami + depending + かな? + Plans + は + not have + should.")

Both of those phrases are packed full of useful grammar... that I probably can't explain in the span of a single lesson. So let's just focus on bits and pieces.

First, らしい (rashii) is a "hearsay marker." So he just means that someone told him he's going to a 呑み会 (nomikai, "drinking party," also written 飲み会).

Second, don't beat yourself up if you couldn't read 調布 (choufu, "Chofu") or 麻美 (asami, "Asami"), because place and people names are pretty much just always guaranteed to be unknown... until you go places... and meet people (even metaphorically speaking via shows, books, etc.).

What I really wanna look at in depth is this part:

Asami shidai kana
I guess it depends on Asami.

I usually write しだい in kanji as 次第. It's a super-useful word!

Here's the formation:

(it) depends on NOUN

The noun doesn't need to be a person, either...

ashita umi iku?
Wanna go to the beach tomorrow?
(Literally: "tomorrow + sea + go?")

tenki shidai
Depends on the weather.
(Literally: "weather + depends.")

Shower of anime examples...

それはあなた次第です これはこの前の実力テストでのあなたの答案用紙のコピー
sore wa anata shidai desu. kore wa kono mae no jitsuryoku tesuto de no anata no touan youshi no kopii.
That is really up to you. This is a copy of your answer sheet to the aptitude test from the other day.
(Literally: "that + は + you + depends + is. this + wa + this + before + no + aptitude test + de no + you + no + answer sheet + copy")

つまり お前らが 本試験を受けられるかどうかは→
tsumari omaera ga honshiken wo ukerareru ka dou ka wa
ore no kibun shidai tte koto da.
In other words, you only proceed to the main exam if I pass you.
(Literally [for just that second sentence]: "I + の + feeling + depends + ってことだ".)

いったろ 俺様の気分次第だって。
ittaro oresama no kibun shidai da tte.
Like I said... It's my decision to make.
(Literally: "I said, right? + I + feeling + depends + is + って).
(Note: Don't talk like this guy; he's super rude.)

Pretty easy grammar, right?

So what's the catch?!

Well, there are other uses of 次第 (shidai).

For example, if you attach 次第 to the ます-stem of verbs, it means "upon VERB-ing" or "as soon as VERB:"

移送の日にちが決まり次第 正式な書類が届きます
isou no hinichi ga kimari shidai seishiki na shorui ga todokimasu
As soon as we confirm the move date, you'll receive the proper documents.

決まる (kimaru), "to be decided"
決まります → 決まり
決まり+次第 → 決まり次第 (kimari shidai)
Upon confirming; as soon as we've decided

mitsuke shidai shasatsu shite kamawan
You are authorized to shoot him on sight for all I care.

見つける (mitsukeru), "to find"
見つけます → 見つけ → 見つけ次第 (mitsuke shidai)
Upon finding; as soon as you find

This is a kind of formal construction, though, so it's not all that useful for talking to friends and whatnot.