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Yatto dēto-o ōkē-shite-kureta-n-desu. (She finally said yes to going on a date with me.)

Situation 1: Mr. Mita comes rushing into the room to speak with his close colleague Mr. Sere.

セレ: あれっ、三田くん、うれしそうだね。何かいいことでもあったの?

三田: 聞いてよ、セレくん。町田さんが、やっとデートをOKしてくれたんだよ。

Sere: Are’, Mita-kun, ureshisō-da-ne. Nanika ii koto-demo atta-no?

Mita: Kiite-yo, Sere-kun. Machida-san-ga, yatto dēto-o ōkē-shite-kureta-n-dayo.

Sere: Hey, Mr. Mita! You look happy. Do you have some good news?

Mita: Guess what, Sere? Ms. Machida finally said yes to going on a date with me.

Today we’ll introduce some usages of the adverbs やっと (at last/finally) and 結局 (けっきょく, after all). やっと expresses the speaker’s relief that something has come to pass after putting in a lot of effort or waiting a long time. It is used when the result has been completed or when it was what the speaker wanted. In Mr. Mita’s remark above, やっと suggests that Mr. Mita had put a lot of effort into getting Ms. Machida to go out on a date, after which she finally accepted. Another example: 5年(ねん)もかかってやっと論文(ろんぶん)を仕上(しあ)げることができた (It took me five years to finally complete my thesis). The も in 5年も shows that the five years felt long to the speaker.

Situation 2: Mrs. Matsumoto calls her friend Mrs. Okubo to tell her about the death of the Matsumotos’ dog.

松本夫人: お医者が手術をすれば治るかもしれないって言ったから、思い切って手術を受けさせたのよ。だけど、結局、死んでしまったの。私、もう立ち直れない。

大久保夫人: 10年も飼っていんだものね。つらいでしょうね。

Matsumoto-fujin: O-isha-ga shujutsu-o sureba naoru-kamo shirenai-tte itta-kara, omoikitte shujutsu-o ukesaseta-no-yo. Dakedo, kekkyoku shinde-shimatta-no. Watashi, mō tachinaorenai.

Ōkubo-fujin: Jūnen-mo katte-ita-n-da-mono-ne. Tsurai-deshō-ne.

Mrs. Matsumoto: The vet told me he might recover if he has surgery, so I took a chance and put him through it. But he died anyway. I can’t get over the shock.

Mrs. Okubo: You’d had him for 10 years. It must be so hard.

やっと cannot be used to express something undesirable for the speaker. When Mrs. Matsumoto became aware of her dog’s disease, she did her best to save him, but he died in the end. 結局 (けっきょく) is used when the speaker wants to express the result of all that’s happened, focusing on the result, not the process. Example: 何度(なんど)も電話(でんわ)したが、結局、彼(かれ)は来(こ)なかった (I called him many times but he didn’t come after all).

Bonus Dialogue: One Sunday evening, Mrs. Okubo brings snacks and tea to her son Mitsuo’s room.

光男: やった! やっとラスボスにたどり着(つ)いた!

母: 勉強(べんきょう)していると思(おも)っておやつを 持(も)ってきたのに、ゲーム? ラスボスって何?

光男: 最後(さいご)の大(おお)ボスだよ。母(かあ)さん、 そんなことも知(し)らないの?

母: ゲームのことなんか、知らないわ。最後のボスに会(あ)えたということは、ゲーム終了(しゅうりょう)ね?

光男: このラスボスを倒(たお)せればね。

母: えっ、倒せなかったら?

光男: そうしたら、また初(はじ)めからやり直(なお)し。

母: 初めから?! じゃあ、倒せなければ10年(ねん)でもそのゲームを終(お)われないの?

光男: まさか。あと1時間(じかん)もあれば倒せるよ。

母: とにかく、お茶(ちゃ)とお菓子(かし)をここに置(お)くからね。[ひとりごと]結局(けっきょく)今日(きょう)も光男(みつお)はゲームづけの一日だった わけだ…。

Mitsuo: Yes, I did it! I finally reached the rasubosu!

Mother: I brought you snacks because I thought you were studying, but are you playing games? What’s a rasubosu?

Mitsuo: It’s the last big boss. Mom, you don’t know that?

Mother: How would I know anything about games? So, if you’ve met the last boss the game is over, right?

Mitsuo: Yes, if I can defeat this last boss.

Mother: And if not?

Mitsuo: Then I start all over again from the beginning.

Mother: From the beginning?! So if you can’t defeat him, you can’t finish the game for, say, another 10 years?

Mitsuo: You’re kidding. I can beat him in an hour or so.

Mother: Anyway, I’m going to leave the tea and snacks here. [To herself] Mitsuo has spent another whole day engrossed in games again after all.

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