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Go-nin zutsu no gurūpu ni wakarete, mondai o kangaete-moraimasu. (We’d like you to form groups of five and think about the task.)

Situation 1: An instructor tells participants in a seminar how to do an activity.

講師:このセミナーでは、5人ずつのグループに分かれて、問題を考えてもらいます。では、みなさん、資料に書かれている番号のテーブルに座ってください。

Kōshi: Kono seminā dewa, go-nin zutsu no gurūpu ni wakarete, mondai o kangaetemoraimasu. Dewa, minasan, shiryō ni kakarete-iru bangō no tēburu ni suwatte-kudasai.

Instructor: In this seminar, we’d like you to form yourselves in groups of five and think about the task. Then, please sit down at the table according to the number that is written in your resume.

 

The particle ずつ indicates a sense of quantity or degree. ずつ means “each” or “to each,” and Xずつ expresses that something is done equally in “X” or is divided into “X.” “X” in this case is the number or quantity for each item, such as 5枚 (ごまい, five sheets) or 千円 (せんえん, ¥1,000):

ピンクと白(しろ)の薬(くすり)を食後(しょくご)に2(ふた)つずつ飲(の)んでください。

(Please take two pink and two white pills after each meal.)

費用(ひよう)は半分(はんぶん)ずつ出(だ)し合(あ)いましょう。

(Let’s contribute half each to the expenses.)

 

Situation 2: Ms. Shiba and Mr. Tian are walking in the station for work.

芝:駅の工事はいつ終わるんでしょうね。

ティエン:うーん、少しずつ進んでいるみたいですけど、時間がかかりますね。

Shiba: Eki no kōji wa itsu owaru-n deshō ne.

Tien: Ūn, sukoshizutsu susunde-iru mitai desu kedo, jikan ga kakarimasu ne.

Shiba: When will the construction in the station finish?

Tien: Well, it seems that it progresses inch by inch, but it will take a long time.

ずつ can also attach to words that indicate a small quantity or degree, such as 少(すこ)し or ちょっと, to express that something changes or progresses little by little:

昼間(ひるま)の時間(じかん)が毎日(まいにち)少しずつ長(なが)くなっている。

(The days are growing longer little by little.)

 

Bonus Dialogue: Ms. Gray is preparing to meet her company’s new interns when her junior colleague Mr. Morishita enters the room.

森下(もりした):あ、グレイさん、インターンシップの方々(かたがた)のための準備(じゅんび)ですね。ぼくもやります。

グレイ:ありがとう。じゃ、この資料(しりょう)をそれぞれの机(つくえ)に1部(いちぶ)ずつ置(お)いてね。それから、水(みず)のペットボトルも一人(ひとり)1本(いっぽん)ずつお願(ねが)い。

森下:はい。… 終(お)わりました。

グレイ:森下さんもこのインターンシップのミーティングに出席(しゅっせき)するんでしょう?

森下:はい。最初(さいしょ)に学生(がくせい)が一人ずつ自己紹介(じこしょうかい)をするんですよね?

グレイ:そう。で、そのあと、学生がいろんな質問(しつもん)をするの。

森下:はい。…ああ、思(おも)い出すなあ、ぼくがこの会社(かいしゃ)にインターンシップに来(き)たときのこと。グレイさんがぼくの質問に答(こた)えてくださったのを、よく覚(おぼ)えています。

グレイ:ええっ、そうだったっけ?

森下:はい。この会社には多様性(たようせい)があって、それぞれ個性(こせい)を生(い)かして働(はたら)いていらっしゃるのが印象的(いんしょうてき)でした。

グレイ:うーん、多様性ね。[ひとりごと] たしかに三田(みた)さんみたいにのんびりした人(ひと)も、田町(たまち)さんみたいにせっかちな人もいるけど、それがうまく合っているのかもしれないなあ。

Morishita: Oh, Ms. Gray, you’re doing internship preparation [preparing for the interns], right? I’ll also do it.

Gray: Oh, thank you. In that case, please put one copy of this material on each desk. And then, please put out one plastic bottle of water per person.

Morishita: Yes. … I’m finished.

Gray: Mr. Morishita, you will also attend this internship meeting, won’t you?

Morishita: Yes. The students will initially introduce themselves one by one, right?

Gray: Yes. Then, after that, students will ask various questions.

Morishita: Yes…. Oh, I remember when I came to this company for an internship. Ms. Gray, I remember you answering all my questions for me.

Gray: What? Is that so?

Morishita: Yes. What impressed me was that this company is diverse, each one’s [person’s] individuality is made the most of while working here.

Gray: Hmm, diversity. [To herself] It is true, there are people who are relaxed like Mr. Mita, and some who are impatient like Ms. Tamachi, but perhaps they balance each other out.

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