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What does v-た+であろう mean? For example:


Does it mean something is likely to be that way? But what then if it appears that this thing has already happened?

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Yeah, im afraid you are right. It could also describe the current condition. –  ingermafan Jul 5 at 6:45
Thank you for adding some context! If you can make sure to supply context with future questions as well, it'll help people to write specific, helpful answers. –  snailboat Jul 5 at 10:02

2 Answers 2

It should be clear from a direct translation of the whole sentence:

The exchange was probably no more than* one or two minutes but the generosity of those** carefree young people was so refreshing.

*ほんの really means "just" but "no more than" feels more natural so I've taken a little literary license.

** We don't really have a word like その to represent "those" and you have not given any more context so I've added it to make the sentence more complete as a stand alone statement.

であった is past/perfect copula similar to だった or でした equivalent to "was"

であろう is similar to だろう & でしょう and equivalent to "probably".

Comment: The grammar is fairly straight forward but this sentence contains some quite difficult words. Did you read and understand the rest of the sentence before asking the question?

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This sentence is a bit difficult for me as a novice language learner( I only started it three months ago). Especially the first half sentence, none of the grammers you just mentioned seems familiar to me. –  ingermafan Jul 5 at 10:25
@ingermafan: If you don't mind me saying so, it sounds like you are trying to run before you can walk. –  Tim Jul 5 at 10:41
Sadly , its grabbed from my homework, and I was supposed to prepare the reading material before class. No doubt new grammers would be taught on class latter, but I feel this way of learning is more active. Maybe I am wrong. –  ingermafan Jul 5 at 10:57

By adding 「であろう」, the narrator turned the statement before it, i.e. 「ほんの一、二分のやりとりであった」, into a supposition, which sounds softer:

(I think / feel / Probably) the exchange lasted for just one minute or two(, well, it might in fact be longer than that). (Although the duration was short,it is enough to show) clearly [1]...

[1]: Sorry that I confused 「さわやか」 with 「あざやか」, credit to Tim

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BTW, I feel unsure about the 「いかに」 here. 「いかにも屈託のない若い人たち」 and 「いかに...さわやかだったであろう」 sound fine to me. Any suggestion will be appreciated. –  Noir Jul 5 at 8:44
「いかにも」のほうが自然ですよね。 –  Choko Jul 5 at 9:52
I think the いかにも modifies 屈託のない. If it modified さわやか, you'd place it right before さわやか: → 「~~がいかにもさわやかであった」 –  Choko Jul 5 at 10:07
In the Chinese translation, only the expression corresponding to 屈託のない, i.e. "毫无顾虑", got an intensifier embedded. It seems that the translator coupled いかに with 屈託のない, although 1. when it comes to tricky details, I do not have much faith in translation (BTW, 一、ニ分 in the same sentence was translated into "两三分钟", i.e. two or three minutes); 2. いかに still sounds kind of weird to me. –  Noir Jul 5 at 13:01
@Choko 上海外国教育出版社が出版した日本語学習材料にあったもので、日本語→中国語訳だと思います。もともとの出所はこの本のようです。 –  Noir Jul 5 at 14:38

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