Introducing the use of -kiru, as in ‘nomikiru,’ ‘tabekiru’ and ‘tsukarekiru’

by and

Contributing Writer

Densha-ni norikirenai hito-mo ita-n-desu. (There were some passengers who couldn’t get on the train.)

Situation 1: Ms. Shiba talks to Mr. Tian, who arrived at the office late.

芝: 電車が事故で止まっちゃったみたいですね。

ティエン: ええ、ホームが人でいっぱいになって、電車に乗りきれない人もいたんです。

Shiba: Densha-ga jiko-de tomatchatta mitai-desu-ne.

Tian: Ee, hōmu-ga hito-de ippai-ni natte, densha-ni norikirenai hito-mo ita-n-desu.

Shiba: I heard the train stopped because of an accident.

Tian: Yes. The platform was full of people, and there were some passengers who couldn’t get on the train.

Today we’ll introduce the proper use of compound verb X(verb in masu-form without ます)きる. きる literally means “to cut,” and Xきる expresses a state of cutting something by means of X. Example: 犬(いぬ)は綱(つな)をかみきった (The dog bit off the rope.) But Xきる mainly adds the meaning “to complete X, to finish X” and shows the completion of an action, as in 使(つか)いきる (to use up), 飲(の)みきる (to drink up). Example: この小説(しょうせつ)はおもしろくて、一晩(ひとばん)で読(よ)みきった (This novel was so interesting that I read the whole thing in a single night). Some Xきる are used in the form of Xきれない, which means being unable to do something completely/sufficiently because they are too much, as in 覚(おぼ)えきれない (cannot remember it all), 数(かぞ)えきれない (too many to count), 待(ま)ちきれない(cannot wait). Example: こんなにたくさんの人の名前(なまえ)、 覚(おぼ)えきれないよ (I can’t remember all these names).

Situation 2: It’s a cold day. Mr. Sere and Mr. Mita have been standing outside because of their work.

セレ: こんな寒いところに立っていたから、体が冷えきっちゃったよ。

三田: うん、あとでどこかで温かいものを食べたいね。

Sere: Konna samui tokoro-ni tatte-ita-kara, karada-ga hiekitchatta-yo.

Mita: Un, ato-de dokoka-de atatakai mono-o tabetai-ne.

Sere: I’m frozen to the bone because of standing in this cold.

Mita: Yeah. It would be nice if we can eat something warm later, somewhere.

Xきる also means to become the utmost state of X, as in 疲(つか)れきる (to be exhausted), 困(こま)りきる (to be greatly perplexed), 退屈(たいくつ)しきる (to be bored to the death). すみきる(to become clear) is usually used in noun modifying form, as in すみきった空(そら) (clear sky). Moreover, Xきる can also mean to do X confidently or perfectly, as in 言(い)いきる(to declare, to conclude), 断(た)ちきる (to break away) and 信 (しん)じきる (to believe completely).

Bonus Dialogue: It’s Sunday morning. Ms. Tamachi talks to her colleague Ms. Gray.

田町: 今朝(けさ)は元気(げんき)そうね。

グレイ: うん、週末(しゅうまつ)に温泉(おんせん)に 行(い)ってきたの。仕事(しごと)で疲(つか)れきった体(からだ)もよみがえったみたい。

田町: わあ、それはよかった。ここのところ、ずっと グレイさんはすごく忙(いそが)しかったものね。

グレイ: すみきった空(そら)の下(した)で、露天風呂(ろてんぶろ)に入(はい)っていると、最高(さいこう)の気分(きぶん)だった。温泉に入ると、冷(ひ)えきった体でもすごく温(あたた)まるよね。日本(にほん)の全 (すべ)ての温泉に行ってみたいな。

田町: 日本には温泉が数(か)えきれないほどあるよ。

グレイ: それにしても、旅館(りょかん)の食事(しょくじ)ってどうしてどこでもあんなに多(おお)いのかな。おいしいけど、食(た)べきれないよ。

田町: え、そうかな? 私(わたし)はいつもちょうどいいと思(おも)っているけど。

グレイ: 田町さん、それは食べすぎじゃない?

Tamachi: You look upbeat today.

Gray: Yeah. I went to a hot spring on the weekend. I think my body, which was exhausted from work, has recovered.

Tamachi: Oh, that’s good. Recently, you’d been very busy.

Gray: It felt great soaking in an open-air bath under the clear sky. Hot springs can even warm a frozen-cold body. I want to go to all of them in Japan.

Tamachi: There are countless hot springs in Japan.

Gray: By the way, why are meals at Japanese inns served in so many dishes? They’re good, but I can’t eat them all.

Tamachi: Oh, really? I’m always happy with the amount.

Gray: Aren’t you eating too much, Ms. Tamachi?