• SHARE

Kore, kite-mitara. Zettai niau yo. (Here, try this on. It’ll totally suit you.)

Situation 1: Mr. Sere and his girlfriend Yuri are out shopping.

ゆり: ねえ、これ、着てみたら。絶対似合うよ。

セレ: え、そうかな。でも、ゆりがそう言うなら、着てみるよ。

Yuri: Nee, kore, kite-mitara. Zettai niau yo.

Sere: E, sō kana. Demo, Yuri ga sō iu nara, kite-miru yo.

Yuri: Hey, here, try this on. It’ll totally suit you.

Sere: Hmm, I wonder. But, if you say so, I’ll try it on.

絶対 (ぜったい) is an adverb and a noun that is often heard in spoken Japanese to stress something. 絶対 as a noun means “absoluteness,” and shows that something is complete and definite:

うちの会社(かいしゃ)では社長(しゃちょう)の命令(めいれい)は絶対なんです。 (At our company, our president’s order is final.)

イスラム教(きょう)ではアラーが唯一(ゆいいつ)絶対の神(かみ)である。 (Allah is the one and only god for Muslims.)

絶対/絶対に as an adverb exaggerates the speaker’s intention or judgement and is used when they are confident in what they’re saying:

今度(こんど)の新製品(しんせいひん)は絶対売(う)れるよ。 (I’m absolutely certain that this new product will sell well.)

エジプトに行(い)ったら、絶対にピラミッドを見(み)たい。

(If I go to Egypt, I definitely want to see the pyramids.)

この仕事(しごと)は絶対に成功(せいこう)させなければならない。 (We must succeed at this job.)

Situation 2: Mrs. Okubo and her daughter Mariko cross at a railway crossing near their home.

まり子: あ、踏切が閉まっちゃう。早く渡ろうよ!

母: だめだめ!踏切が閉まったら、絶対に中に入っちゃだめよ。

Mariko: A, fumikiri ga shimatchau. Hayaku watarō yo!

Haha: Dame dame! Fumikiri ga shimattara, zettai ni naka ni haitcha dame yo.

Mariko: Ah, the crossing barriers are just about to close. Let’s cross fast!

Mother: No no! When the barriers start to close, you shouldn’t go inside by any means.

絶対 in a negative sentence translates as “never” or “by no means.” It illustrates a strong denial:

私(わたし)はアレルギーがあるので、そばは絶対に食(た)べない。 (I have an allergy so I can’t eat buckwheat noodles at all.)

あんな強(つよ)いチームには絶対に勝(か)てないよ。

(They’ll never win against such a strong team.)

Bonus Dialogue: Ms. Gray and Ms. Oda are chatting.

グレイ: あしたから、旅行(りょこう)だって?

小田(おだ): うん。友(とも)だちと台湾(たいわん)に行くんだ。 実(じつ)は海外旅行(かいがいりょこう)は初(はじ)めてで、ちょっと緊張(きんちょう)しているの。

グレイ: だいじょうぶ。台湾は安全(あんぜん)だし、交通面(こうつうめん)もわかりやすいし、食べ物(たべもの)もおいしいし、絶対に楽(たの)しめるよ。

小田: そうだといいけど。

グレイ: どこに行く予定(よてい)?

小田: 特(とく)に決(き)めていないけど、故宮博物院(こきゅうはくぶついん)は絶対に行かなきゃ。あと、小籠包(しょうろんぽう)を食べたいと思(おも)っているんだ。

グレイ: ああ、いいね。私も大好(だいす)き。

小田: それから、中国茶(ちゅうごくちゃ)も買(か)いたいと思っているの。あとは足(あし)つぼマッサージも絶対にね。

グレイ: いいなあ。楽しんできてね。でも、パスポートとチケットは絶対に忘(わす)れないように。

小田: それぐらいは、わかっている。いくら海外旅行の初心者(しょしんしゃ)でも。

Gray: I heard you’re going on a trip from tomorrow.

Oda: Yeah. I’m going to Taiwan with my friends. Actually, it’s my first time traveling abroad and I’m a little nervous.

Gray: It’s OK. Taiwan is safe, the traffic is easy to understand, the food is delicious and you’re definitely going to enjoy yourself.

Oda: I hope so.

Gray: Where are you planning to go?

Oda: I have no particular plans, but I definitely have to go to the National Palace Museum. Also, I hope to eat some soup dumplings.

Gray: Ohh, nice. I love those, too.

Oda: And then, I hope to buy some Chinese tea. I also want to go get a foot massage

Gray: Wow, nice. Have fun! But, make sure you don’t forget your passport and ticket.

Oda: I know that much. No matter how much of a newbie to overseas travel I am.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)