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やる時{とき}やるじゃん! (Yaru toki yaru jan!)

I think the meaning is something like "When you want to do something, you do it".

Or maybe, "When you are about to do something, you just do it."

This is a positive expression?

Does it mean you have confidence in what you do? Or that you do it without thinking first?

Thanks!

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@Flaw what is じゃん in this instance? –  Karl Knechtel Nov 5 '11 at 17:25
    
I think you misheard "やる時はやる". –  sawa Nov 5 '11 at 17:55
    
@KarlKnechtel: 「じゃん」 is a short form of 「じゃない」, often used to confirm something, like saying "isn't it?" in English. So in this case I would take it as ending the sentence with "right?" –  Dave M G Nov 6 '11 at 1:45
    
I thought it might be short for 「じゃない」 but didn't realize that had use as a question... I guess it makes sense, the way informal language typically works. @sawa what is the pronunciation for 「時は」 ? –  Karl Knechtel Nov 6 '11 at 6:42
    
@KarlKnechtel: 時は is pronounced as ときわ, but it can sound like ときゃ in a fast (and a little sloppy) speech. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 6 '11 at 23:03

2 Answers 2

やる時はやる means "When [you/I] (really decide to) do things, [you/I] do them". The nuance is that you don't just try to do them, you do them and do them well.

The expression conveys that a person has the ability to do things well when they put their minds to it, even if they are slow to act in the first place.

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I think it means to get things done when necessary. Here is an example taken from here:

花子はオットリしているようで、やるときはやる人間だ。

Hanako seems quiet, but she get things done when it's necessary.

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OK, maybe not just when necessary but also with an emphasis on "well", as pointed out by Hyperworm. –  Matt N. Nov 5 '11 at 20:49

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