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あなたがいなくて寂しいです in formal language

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by diogovk, May 14, 2013.

  1. diogovk New Member

    Is there a more formal way to say: あなたがいなくて寂しいです ?

    I want to say "I miss you" to an ex-teacher which I really liked and I wonder if it's too intimate.
  2. akimura

    akimura Senior Member

    The use of あなた seems to be a factor in making your sentence indicate a little intimacy. As you are meaning to address to your ex-teacher, I would recommend using 先生(sensei) in place of あなた, as in 先生がいなくて寂しいです. It sounds perfectly fine, neither too formal nor too intimate.
  3. shibazakura New Member

    How about "先生がいなくて、寂しくなっていますよ”, Akimura san? I just wonder if it sounds ok in Japanese.
    Thanks in advance
  4. akimura

    akimura Senior Member

    shibazakura san,
    "先生がいなくて、寂しくなっていますよ" doesn't sound natural enough to native Japanese speakers, although we can understand what it means. "寂しくなっています" seems to work fine with an inanimate object. Let's say your ex-teacher was a PE teacher, then you might say, "先生がいなくて、校庭は寂しくなっています (Without sensei, the school playground feels like something missing)."

    I hope it helps.
  5. shibazakura New Member

    Thanks much.
    So, in the structure l "S+ は+ adj + なっている/なる”, S should be inanimate object or it's just work with "寂しい”
  6. akimura

    akimura Senior Member

    shibazakura san

    It seems it depends on both structures and word choices. Actually, "先生がいないと寂しくなる(なります" is perfectly okay, where you are predicting a future, unhappy situation without your teacher. If you want to mention that you are presently unhappy without your teacher, "先生がいないと寂しくなっている(います)" doesn't work well. Instead, "先生がいないと寂しいです" is perfect about the present, unhappy situation.

    However, if you are to choose a different word instead of 寂しい, say, 美しい, the structure you are talking about seems to work fine both with future and present situations; namely, その娘は美しくなります (the young woman will become beautiful) and その娘は美しくなっています (the young woman has become beautiful) are both fine.
  7. YangMuye Senior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    I think when you want to express your emotion in Japanese, you will usually chose one from these three forms in most situations:
    ~た(past form)

    I feel that 寂しくなっている is usually used to convey the fact rather than the emotion.
  8. shibazakura New Member

    Thanks for your detail explanation, akimura san.
  9. Tonky Senior Member

    I think you brought up a good point there. Maybe more like "state" of the subject rather than calling it a "fact".
    ~くなる expresses a change in state and not emotions. The issue with ~ている here is the aspect of it being continuous instead of progressive, as though most non-native speakers tend to think of "missing" as progressive.
    走る run → 走っている progressive, be running
    落ちる fall → 落ちている continuous, has fallen (落ちた→落ちた状態)
    寂しくなる become lonely/deserted → 寂しくなっている continuous, has become lonely/deserted (寂しくなった状態)​
    When ~ている is used for continuous aspect, it explains the condition or the result state(結果の状態) of the subject in general, I think. That is probably why (その娘は)美しくなっている sounds okay (I still find it awkward without context though) while (私は)寂しくなっている doesn't.
  10. YangMuye Senior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    I hesitated a long time before pressing the “post” button. I simply think it's a matter of modality. The speaker expresses his emotion not because the listener want to know or need to know but for some other reasons(分かってほしい、分かってくれるとうれしい).

    When I wrote that post, I first thought that ~だ/~い/~た ware usually used to share one's first-hand experience rather than to state an abstract fact. (体験をそのまま伝える)
    But I immediately realized that, ている could be used for the same purpose too.
    To not complicate the question, I ended up with a general rule: don't use ている to express your emotion. I think it generally works.

    I think くなる can be used to express emotions. Actually many usages of に・くなる do not require subjects, just like many 助動詞s such as ようだ.

    I think you don't say 部長は寂しくなった・ている.

    I think it's really a difficult question. I can't find a good reason.
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  11. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    YangMuye, 感情にしろ状態にしろ、transition, 推移があったということだと思うよ。そういう風になってしまった、ということだね。

  12. YangMuye Senior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin

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