Lucky Star! Episode 1 (Part 4)

The following is an unedited post created on our Tumblr page. You may find the original here.

Continuing our journey through Lucky Star, Miyuki joins Konata and Tsukasa’s conversation as she catches Konata awkwardly eating her chocolate cornet. I

みゆき:あ あの…



こなた:さすがはみゆきさんだ 頭いいね

みゆき:いえ 食べ方は人それぞれ自由ですから



みゆき:そうですね 私はまず二つに割って



みゆき:そうすると クリームがはみ出したりすることなく


So, let’s get started and see where the road leads us.

みゆき:あ あの…
(Miyuki: A… Ano…)

あの: is an adjective meaning “that.” But it is also used as an interjection meaning “um”. And that’s what it means here.


(Miyuki: Hosoi hou wo chigitte, amatta chokko wo tsukete taberu to iu tabekata mo)

細い (hosoi): is an adjective meaning “thin.” We’ve discussed this in previous sections.

ほう (hou): is a noun meaning “end.” We’ve also discussed this in previous sections.

を (wo): is a direct object particle. So we know that the “thin end” is the direct object.

ちぎって (chigitte): is the verb ちぎる (chigiru) in the Te form, meaning “to pick off” (like a fruit from a tree). The reason the verb is in the Te form is because it is one of a series of verbs that constitute one overall action. So, “You pick off the thin end [and]…”

余った (amatta): is a verb conjugated for the non-negative, past, meaning “to remain.” But Chigitte and Amatta are not verbs that go together. Why not? I’ll tell you right now.

チョコ (chokko): is the abbreviated form of チョコレット (chokoretto), meaning “chocolate.” One form of IP in Japanese is the [Verb Phase] + [Noun Phrase] formula. This means: the [Noun Phrase] that [Verb Phrase]. The Verb Phrase here is just Amatta. The Noun Phrase is Chokko. So this means “The chocolate that remained”. For translation purposes, you can say “the remaining chocolate”

を (wo): is a direct object particle, same as before. But be mindful of the verb we’re about to talk about.

つけて (tsukeru): is a verb that means many things. It’s the Te form of つける (tsukeru). It means “to apply” and “to furnish” and “to join” and “to apply.” So context here helps us. We picked off the thin end and now we need to join it to the remaining chocolate. Thus we can pick a verb like “to dip” or “to dab”. Then we’d have “[you] dab the remaining chocolate” and thereafter we’d supply the “to it” that English requires. What’s important to know is that with Tsukeru, the subject is joins itself to something else. And that something else will take the Wo particle. What we see as an indirect object relationship is reflected here in Japanese as a direct object relationship. Also note that this too is in the Te form, like Chigitte; and for the same reason. So you pick it off, dip it, and now…

食べる: is our favorite verb, conjugated for the non-negative, non-past, meaning “to eat.” This is the end of the series of actions. So we have a formula to learn here [IP1 w/Te form] + [IP2 w/Te form] + [IP3 w/non-Te from] means: “Verb1, Verb2, and Verb3″ And that’s a definitive list. So only those three things are involved in the action. So, “You break off the thin end, dab it onto the remaining chocolate, and eat it.”

という (to iu): is an expression. To is an IP marker. Iu is a verb that takes an IP, it means “to say.” It means literally “[One] says that…” It functions similar to “It’s said that” in English, where you want to convey an idea but you don’t want to be held accountable for it entirely. So, “[One] says that you take the thin end, dab it onto the remaining chocolate, and eat it.”

食べかた (tabekata): is the stem of Taberu with the suffix -kata, meaning “[How] to X”, so altogether it means “how to eat”. And that is grammatically a noun. So, like with Amatta Chokko, we’re in a grammatical structure of [Verb Phrase] + [Noun Phrase]. We’ll flesh it out in a minute.

も (mo): is a particle meaning “also”. It’s not an ending particle, really, because it follows a noun phrase, not a verb phrase.

Because we have no verb at our top IP, we need to use a copula. That’ll be, as usual, “[it] is.” So, “[It] is also to eat [a chocolate cornet], they say, that you that you take the thin end, dab it onto the remaining chocolate, and eat it.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a mess in English. But the idea’s there. So here’s how we’re going to think about it: When you have this construction, the Verb Phrase preceding it will in English become a Prepositional Phrase in this way: “One X’s by [Verb Phrase]” From there, you can accommodate the sentence as needed.

“One also eats [a chocolate cornet] by picking the thin end, dabbing it onto the remaining chocolate, and eating it.”

And you can add “it is said” or “they say” if you’d like. It’d rather not because of its mainly functional reason for being there.
Don’t worry much about this sentence. We’ll be talking about dependent nouns in Japanese soon enough and we’ll come back to this.

(Tsukasa: Naruhodou ne)

なるほど (naruhodo): is an expression meaning “of course.” It’s best just to memorize this as is.

ね (ne): is our ending particle that’s dubitative/desiderative and all those other wonderful things. Here Tsukasa uses it because Miyuki’s explanation is so clear that she wonders why she didn’t think of it herself.

“Of course, huh?”

こなた:さすがはみゆきさんだ 頭いいね
(Konata: sasuga wa Miyuki-san da Atama ii ne)

さすが (sasuga): is the adverb from before meaning “as expected.” Here it’s acting like a noun, which is what happens when there are no distinctive suffixes on parts of speech. But don’t worry. It’s not much of a problem.

は (wa): is our topic marker, meaning that the topic is how this was expected.

みゆき (Miyuki): is their interlocutor.

さん (san): is a suffix used when addressing or referring to other people. This is the standard suffix of this kind. If you want to speak Japanese, this is the one you should be calling people. It doesn’t necessarily mean “Mr.” or “Miss” but it does show a certain amount of respect.

だ (da): is the copula conjugated for the non-negative, non-past. This verb notes the end of the sentence. “As expected, [it is] Miyuki.”, which is to say “One expects this from Miyuki.”

頭 (atama): is a noun meaning “head.”

いい (ii): is an I-adjective conjugated for the non-negative, non-past. It means “good”. “Atama ii”, the shortened version of “Atama ga ii” means “smart.”, for if you have a good head, you are smart.

ね (ne):  is our old friend, as discussed previously.

“As expected from Miyuki. [She’s] smart, huh?”

みゆき:いえ 食べかたは人それぞれ自由ですから
(Miyuki: Ie Tabekata wa hito sorezore jiyuu desu kara)

いえ (ie): is an interjection, meaning “no.” Since there is a negative conjugation for verbs, this is not what you would use when you want to express an action in the negative. Instead, Ie is what you use as a response.

食べかた (tabekata): is a noun meaning “how to eat.”

は (wa): is a topic marker. So we’re talking about “how to eat”, the implied object being “chocolate cornets.”

人 (hito): is a noun meaning “person.” Because nouns don’t decline (as in declension) in number in Japanese, it can also mean “people.” Here it means “people.” You’ll also see now that there is no particle following this word. When that happens, assume a が (ga), as the subject marker, has been omitted.

それぞれ (sorezore): literally means “that [and] that.” It’s an adjective that means “in many ways.” or “in several forms.”

自由 (jiyuu): is a Na-adjective meaning “free” or “at liberty.”

です (desu): is the copula in Teineigo, conjugated for the non-negative, non-past.

から (kara): is a conjunction meaning “because.” When we translate it, we’ll move the “because” to be beginning of the IP.

“No, because in respect to how to eat [a chocolate cornet], people are in many ways free [to do as they wish].”

(Konata: Chookuriimu wa douyatte taberu?)

シュークリーム (shuukuriimu): is a noun, coming form the French “Chou à la crème”, which is a little pasty creme sandwich.

は (wa): is our topic marker.

どうやって (douyatte): is an interrogative expression. It means “how?” It comes from Dou, meaning “how?”, and Yatte, the Te-form of やる (yaru), meaning “to do.” It’s similar to English when one says “How exactly do you…”

食べる (Taberu): still means “to eat.” You’ll notice that the sentence ends in a question mark. In Japanese orthography, you use a question mark when you don’t use か (ka). The tone of the last syllable goes up, indicating a question, just as it would in English.

“As for a chou à la crème, how do you eat?”

So Konata is asking for a method.

(Miyuki: E, chookuriimu desu ka.)

え (e): is an expression, meaning “Huh?”

シュークリーム (shuukuriimu): is the same as before.

です (desu): is also the same as before. But what’s going on here? If we translate, we have “It is a chou à la crème.” Keep that in mind.

か (ka): is our interrogative marker, making the IP a question. But here’s what’s strange: We’d be translating this as “Is it a chou à la crème?” That makes little sense, really, because there is no chou à la crème. What gives? What she meant was “shuukuriimu ka.” “A chou à la crème?” But any ka particle preceded by anything other than a verb sounds really rude. So the Desu serves as a buffer for that. Yet it functions just like “shuukuriimu ka?” Context is everything.

“Huh? A chou à la crème?”

みゆき:そうですね 私はまず二つに割って
(Miyuki: Sou desu ne Watashi wa mazu futatsu ni watte)

そう (sou): is an adverb meaning “such.”

です (desu): is the same as before.

ね (ne): is the same as before. Altogether, they are “Sou desu ne.” which translates as “Is that so?” But at the beginning of a statement it serves as a reflection of the topic and can be translated as “Let’s see…”

私 (watashi): is the 1st person singular pronoun, meaning “I”.

は (wa): is the topic marker.

まず (mazu): is an adjective meaning “firstly.”

二つ (futatsu): is a noun meaning “two parts.” We’ll talk about numbers eventually. Just know for now that the -tatsu suffix with number lexemes indicates a quantity.

に (ni): is the particle the following verb takes. It’s best to learn it like that.

割って (watte): is the Te-form of 割る (waru), meaning “to split.” It’s in the Te-form for the same reason Chigiru and Tsukeru were in their Te-forms. We’re going to get a sequence of actions.

“Let’s see. As for me, [I] first split [the chou à la crème] into two…”

(Miyuki: futa bubun wo potto bubun no kuriimu ni tsukete tabete)

蓋 (futa): is a noun meaning “cover.”

部分 (bubun): is also a noun meaning “portion.” Japanese will occasionally combine nouns like this, where the first is adjectival to the second, as often happens in English. So we’re talking about the “cover portion.”

を (wo): is our direct object. The verb will be familiar to us.

ポット (potto): is a noun meaning “pot.” In this case, we’re talking about the bottom of the chou à la crème.

部分 (bubun): is the same as before. So we have the “bottom portion.”

の (no): is our genitive marker. “X no Y” means “Y of X”.

クリーム (curiimu): is a noun meaning “creme.” So we’re talking about the creme of the bottom part.

に (ni): is the locative marker of the verb.

つけて (tsukete): is the same as before, meaning “to dab.” But you’ll see here that we have two particles interacting with the verb as opposed to last time, where we had one. On top of that, before, Wo was more of a locative marker, and here we have Ni, which is what experience would have us expect as a locative marker. So what gives? This is a case of particle priority, which is more of a theory of mine than something I’ve read about in any book. Briefly put, if you’re going to have only one particle when you could have two, then Wo is used no matter what. But we know here, because everything is presented that you dip the top end into the bottom end’s creme.

食べて (tabete): is the Te-form of Taberu.

“I dip the top part into the bottom part’s creme, and eat it,”

(Miyuki: De, sono ato, kondou wa potto bubun wo tabemasu.)

で (de): is the Te-form of Da. In long lists it serves as a pause.

その後 (sono ato): is an expression literally meaning “that behind.” It means “afterwards.”

今度 (kondou): is an adverb meaning “at this time” or “now.”

は (wa): is our topic marker.

ポット(potto): is “pot”, same as before.

部分 (bubun): is “portion,” same as before.

を (wo): is our direct object particle.

食べます (tabemasu): is the Teineigo form of Taberu, conjugated for the non-negative, non-past.

“Afterwards, [I] now eat the bottom portion.”

みゆき:そうすると クリームがはみ出したりすることなく
(Miyuki: sou suru to kuriimu ga hamidashitari suru koto naku)

そう (sou): like before, means “thusly.”

する (suru): is a verb we’ve seen before, conjugated for the non-negative, non-past, meaning “to do.”

と (to): is our conditional conjunction. It’s our strong “if”. “If [you] do thusly…”

クリーム (kuriimu): is the same as before, meaning “creme.”

が (ga): is the subject marker.

はみ出したり (hamidashitari): is the verb はみ出す  (hamidasu) conjugated for the non-negative, past. It means “to spill out.” Ri is a suffix that makes the verb take a connotation of representation, meaning “things like spilling out.”

する (suru): is the same as before. But when you have a verbs with -ri, this ends the list.

ことなく (kotonaku): is an expression that’s actually a noun and an adverb. As an expression it means “no such thing as….”. Separately, we have “koto”, which is a way of nominalizing an IP, and “naku”, which is the adverbial form of ない (nai), meaning “no” (adverbially).

“If [you] do thusly, [there will be] no such thing as creme spilling out.”

(Miyuki: Kuriimu to shuu mo baransu yoku taberaru n desu yo ne)

クリーム (kuriimu): is the same as before.

と (to): is here a conjunction meaning “and.”

シュー (shuu): is the “chou”, the “pastry” part of the dessert.

も (mo): is the same as before, meaning “also.” So, “the creme and the pastry also.”

バランス (baransu): is an adverb meaning “with balance,” the word itself coming from the word “balance.”

よく (yoku): is also an adverb, meaning “very.”

食べられる (taberareru): is Taberu, conjugated for the potential form, non-past, non-negative. It means “[I] can eat”

ん (n): is a nominalizer. It makes the IP a noun phrase. It’s often at the end of IPs that serve as explanations and get translated as “So…”

です (desu): is the same as always.

よ (yo): is the ending particle that emphasizes that we are conveying information.

ね (ne): is the same as always, added here because Yo by itself can sound rather harsh.

“So [I] can eat the creme and the pastry too in a balanced way.”


“Uh… Um…”
One also eats [a chocolate cornet] by picking the thin end, dabbing it onto the remaining chocolate, and eating it.”
“Of course, huh?”
“As expected from Miyuki. [She’s] smart, huh?”
“No, because in respect to how to eat [a chocolate cornet], people are in many ways free [to do as they wish].”
“As for a chou à la crème, how do you eat?”
“Let’s see. As for me, [I] first split [the chou à la crème] into two. “I dip the top part into the bottom part’s creme, and eat it, “Afterwards, [I] now eat the bottom portion. “If [you] do thusly, [there will be] no such thing as creme spilling out. “So [I] can eat the creme and the pastry too in a balanced way.

Things to Memorize: