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Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by fitter.happier, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. fitter.happier

    fitter.happier Senior Member

    Naples, Italy

    I have a question about how to use 〜が早いか correctly.

    The book 新完全マスター says that it is possible to use both the dictionary form (辞書形) and the past form (た形) before 〜が早いか and gives examples such as the following:

    ① 今朝、寝坊した夫は、朝ご飯を口に押し込むが早いか、玄関を出ていった。(押し込む → 辞書形)
    ② 話題のその本は、店頭に並べられたが早いか、飛ぶように売れていった。 (並べられた → た形)

    However, Makino/Tsutsui (A Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar, 日本語文法辞典【上級編】) state that the only acceptable form before 〜が早いか is V-inf.nonpast (辞書形), providing several examples such as the one below:

    ③ ひったくりは金を奪うが早いか、自転車で逃げた。​

    Would it be possible to use 押し込んだ and 奪った in sentences ① and ③ respectively? Also, would the meaning be different if 並べられた was replaced by 並べられる in sentence ②?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  2. Wishfull Senior Member

    I think both are fine. Both using the present tense and using the past tense sound natural to my ears.
    Maybe language professors should decide that the past tense would be correct grammatically or not.
    And I believe that there will be the conflict of opinions regarding this matter.
    But it doesn't matter much to me. Both are fine with me.
  3. fitter.happier

    fitter.happier Senior Member

    Naples, Italy
    No major difference then. I see.

    Thanks, Wishfull!

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