すらしていなかった

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nicole0087

Member
chinese
hello!

Please help me on this sentence:
この地域の再開発に日分がかかわることになろうとは想像すらしていなかった.
1. What is the meaning of the words underline?
2. Is "すらしていなかった" a useful phrase?

Thank you!
 
  • Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    この地域の再開発に自分がかかわることになろうとは想像すらしていなかった

    First off, 自分 (jibun; self) refers to the speaker.

    1. The underlined part means, "I have not even imagined. . ."
    2. The more basic form of 「Xすらしていなかった」 is 「Xすらしない」 (don't even do X). I use it as a very handy construction. It should be noted that this can be used only for suru verbs (composite verbs derived from suru).
    E.g., 発言すらしない (do not even make a comment)
    掃除すらしない (do not even clearn the place)

    Hope it helped.
     

    nicole0087

    Member
    chinese
    Thanks Flam!

    I have a new qustion here:
    「Xすらしない」means don't even do sth,right?
    Then what's meaning about 「Xすらしていなかった」? Is it means "be not even doing sth" here?
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Xすらしない = don't even do X. Yes, you are right.
    Xすらしていなかった = haven't even done X.

    「想像すらしていなかった」, therefore, means "I haven't even imagined that. . . ."
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    I am not sure whether this is a question of Japanese or English but let me explain the fine nuances of 「想像すらしていなかった」. The intent of the speaker is that he never had imagination to see himself having a role in the re-development of the area. This not having the imagination is recognised as holding true at the time when the utterance is made; the present. Not having the imagination is taking place (eeerh or untaking place) now but it is also implied that this situation continues on from a certain point in the past.

    English uses present perfect in order to express a present situation that continues from the past. This is why I equated 「Xすらしていなかった」 with "haven't even done X." In contrast, past perfect typically refers to an event or a situation that continued up until a certain point in the past.

    Apart from the context of the original question, however, the construction may be able to mean perfect aspect in any tense. An example for future perfect is;
    少子化が進めば、想像すらしていなかった事態に対応しなければならないだろう。
    (If the reduced birthrate goes on, we will have to cope with a situation that no one has imagined)

    Past perfect use is also possible;
    ヴェルサイユ体制の下で、ヴァイマール共和国は想像すらしていなかった不景気に苦しんだ。
    (Under the Versailles world order Weimar Republic suffered from an unprecedented depression)

    Japanese tense-aspect system is flexible enough to accommodate all the three English paradigms. Yet, with the question at hand, presumably the best one for translation is present perfect form.

    Flam
     

    nicole0087

    Member
    chinese
    The nuance in Japanese tense is really hard to understand. Although Flaminius explained a lot on it, I can't differentiate it and I still have doubt on it. I will pay attention to all of your post until I grasp it.
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    It's simple, nicole.
    すらしていなかった is used both for the present perfect tense (have -pp.)and the past perfefect tense (had -pp.).
    知道了?
     

    Aoyama

    Senior Member
    français Clodoaldien
    少子化が進めば、想像すらしていなかった事態に対応しなければならないだろう。
    (If the reduced birthrate goes on, we will have to cope with a situation that no one has imagined)

    Past perfect use is also possible;
    ヴェルサイユ体制の下で、ヴァイマール共和国は想像すらしていなかった不景気に苦しんだ。
    (Under the Versailles world order Weimar Republic suffered from an unprecedented depression)
    I would say that 想像すらしてい/ない/なかった= [here] unimaginable, unthinkable.
     

    etudian

    Senior Member
    Japanese, Japan
    The nuance in Japanese tense is really hard to understand. Although Flaminius explained a lot on it, I can't differentiate it and I still have doubt on it. I will pay attention to all of your post until I grasp it.
    Don't worry. I can't really tell if 想像すらしていなかった means "I haven't even imagined" or "I hadn't even imagined" or "I didn't even imagine." We just need more context. But without further context, I would translate your example as follows:

    Back then, I didn't even imagine that I would ever get invovled with the redevelopment of this area.

    I added "back then" above, but it's just a guess, and it all depends on the implicit time frame.
     

    nicole0087

    Member
    chinese
    Thanks everyone!
    I don't know if the original form of "想像すらしていなかった " is "想像する"? Who could kindly tell me if so? And please tell me how it transforms to "想像すらしていなかった ".
    Many thanks!
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    I don't know if the original form of "想像すらしていなかった " is "想像する"? :tick:
    Yes, it is.

    想像 (imagination) + する (light verb: makes verbs when suffixed to a noun)
    > 想像する

    想像して (te-form of 想像する) + いない (auxiliary to form negative progressive)
    > 想像していない

    すら is an emphatic particle that combines with a noun. Usually it follows "V + koto" to express, "don't even do V." E.g., 食べることすらできない (cannot even eat)

    However, light verbs are irregular in that they allow すら to be suffixed right after the nominal element of the light verb. The Japanese translation for "don't even imagine" would be, therefore, 「想像すらしない」 (< 想像・しない), where the medial dot indicates the place for すら.

    想像すらしていない (> 想像すらしていなかった) is formed by inserting すら into 想像していない.

    Flam,
    Please raise questions, rebuttals etc. :)
     

    almostfreebird

    Senior Member
    Born and raised in Japón, soy japonés
    I imagine=watashi wa souzou suru.[present tense]

    I imagined yesterday=watashi wa kinou souzou shita.[past tense]

    I have imagined since yesterday=watashi wa kinou kara souzou shite iru.

    I had imagined at some point in the past=watashi wa kako no aru jiten de souzou shita.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    When you say "shite iru" or "shite ita", it suggests progressing or continuation.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    ...sura=...sae=even

    He cannot even write his own name.=kare wa jibun no namae sura(sae) kakenai.
     
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