Language | WELL SAID

Getting things out there in Japanese with 'dasu'

by Akemi Tanahashi and Hitomi Tashiro

Contributing Writer

Kashidashi-wa nishūkan-made-desu.

Lending is limited to two weeks.

Situation 1: Takako goes to a library and checks a book out.

図書館員:  貸し出しは2週間までです。この本は予約が入っておりますので、延長はできません。ご注意ください。

Toshokan-in: Kashidashi-wa nishūkan-made-desu. Kono hon-wa yoyaku-ga haitte-orimasu-no-de, enchō-wa dekimasen. Go-chūi-kudasai.

Librarian: Lending is limited to two weeks. But please note that since this book has been reserved, an extension won’t be possible.

Today, we will introduce some meanings and uses of the verb 出(だ)す and its compound verbs. 出すis a transitive verb that means “to take something out,” and it is used as in: かばんの 中身(なかみ)を机(つくえ)の上(うえ)に出す (to empty the contents of a bag onto the desk). When 出す attaches to a verb X to make a compound verb X出す, X is the pre-masu stem form of that verb. This compound verb, in the pattern of YをX出す, expresses that “Y emerges or comes out by doing X,” as in: ゴミの(なか)中(なか)から宝物(たからもの)を見(み)つけ出した (I found a precious thing among the trash). Here is one more example, in which the verb 絞(しぼ)り出す (to squeeze out) is used metaphorically: みんなの知恵(ちえ)を絞(しぼ)り出して問題(もんだい)を解決した (We racked our brains to solve the problem).

Situation 2: In the garden, the Okubos’ young daughter, Mariko, notices a change in the weather.

まり子:  あっ、お母さん、雨が降り出したよ!

母:  大変! 洗濯物を入れなくちゃ。

Mariko: A’, okāsan, ame-ga furidashita-yo!

Haha: Taihen! Sentakumono-o irenakucha.

Mariko: Ah, Mom, it’s started to rain!

Mother: Oh no! I’d better bring in the laundry.

X出す can also be used to show that X has started to happen, as with Mariko’s 降(ふ)り出す (to start to rain) above. Xはじめる also means “to start to X,” but X出す suggests that X started suddenly or abruptly. Other examples: 駆(か)け出す (to start running)/ 笑(わら)い出す (to burst into laughter)/ 怒(おこ)り出す (to get angry suddenly)/ 騒(さわ)ぎ出す (to start making a racket).

Bonus Dialogue: At home, Mrs. Shiba is telling her husband about their young son, Jun.

妻:  今日(きょう)、危(あぶ)なかったのよ。歩道(ほどう) を歩(ある)いていたら、急(きゅう)にじゅんが私 (わたし)の手(て)を振(ふ)り離(はな)して、車道 (しゃどう)に飛(と)び出(だ)したの。車(くるま)が急 ブレーキを踏(ふ)まなかったら、ひかれていたかも しれない。恐(こわ)かった。

夫:  けががなくて、よかった。男(おとこ)の子(こ)は何(なに)をし出すかわからないからなあ。…あ、早苗(さなえ)、急に泣(な)き出したりして、どうしたの?

妻:   ごめん…、達彦(たつひこ)に話(はな)したとたん、 緊張(きんちょう)がゆるんだみたい…。

夫:  かわいそうに、早苗、ショックだったんだね。

妻:  じゅんのほうは、何が起(お)こったかわからないで、平気(へいき)な顔(かお)をしているの。運転手(うん てんしゅ)さんに、すごく怒(おこ)られちゃった。

夫:  怒られるぐらいは、がまんしなくちゃね。じゅんが 無事(ぶじ)だったんだから。

妻:  じゅんは、お産(さん)も大変(たいへん)だったし、 育(そだ)てるのも大変。

夫:  子どもは、親(おや)を選(えら)んで生(う)まれて くるって言(い)われているよ。たくさんの人(ひと)の中(なか)から、僕(ぼく)たちを選び出して来(き)て くれたじゅんを大切(たいせつ)に育てようね。

Wife: Today we had a really dangerous scare. While Jun and I were walking on the sidewalk, he suddenly let go of my hand and jumped into the road. If the driver hadn’t slammed on the brakes immediately, Jun could have been run over. It was really scary.

Husband: Thank God he wasn’t hurt. It’s hard to know what boys will do from one moment to the next. Oh, Sanae, you’ve started crying. What’s the matter?

Wife: I’m sorry … It’s like as soon as I told you about this, Tatsuhiko, it let out some of the tension.

Husband: Poor Sanae, it must have been a shock.

Wife: Whereas Jun didn’t know what had happened and looked nonplussed. The driver got really angry with us.

Husband: Being shouted at is a small price to pay considering Jun was safe.

Wife: Jun was a difficult birth, and bringing him up has been tough too.

Husband: It’s said that children pick the parents they want to be born to. As Jun picked us out to be his parents from among all the others, let’s cherish him.