I’ve come across two sentences that seem to share a construction that I’m not familiar with:

  1. 一時間 働いて どのくらいのお金がもらえますか。
  2. ご心配かけて申し訳 ございません I haven’t been able to find references to it.

In both, the initial phrase seems to be a participial construction serving as a sentence adverbial: “working for an hour”, and “causing worry”. Is this the best way to consider them?

  • 「ジムで1時間運動して帰った。」とかも言えますよ。「ご心配をかけて申し訳ございません。」とも言えますよ。
    – chocolate
    Aug 3 at 8:34

2 Answers 2


Should the structure:

noun phrase without particle + te-form of verb

always be interpreted as a sentence adverbial?

-te form of verb can function adverbially (or it can be translated in such way), but there is no requirement that clause with -te contain a noun or that such noun be without a particle.

(ご)心{しん}配{ぱい}掛{か}けて is form of expression (ご)心{しん}配{ぱい}掛{か}ける with particle を dropped.

You could say, with the same meaning: ご心配かけて申し訳ございません。

Also note that participial treatment is from the point of view of English language. Japanese sentences often have implicit subjects or objects.

With over-explicit pronouns: 私はあなたにご心配をかけて…

English translation of either of above variant can be participial "For causing worry, ..." or explicit "I caused worry to you, and ...".

  • Thank you for responding. Yes, participial structures are used in English, and I’m wondering whether something like them are used in Japanese. Should the inclusion or omission of the を have any impact on how my 2nd sentence is translated into English?
    – justerman
    Aug 4 at 7:56
  • @justerman Inclusion or omission of particle should have no effect on translation. Also note that you can use NOUN+する constructions in extended form NOUN+を+する with no difference in meaning, but some difference in possible grammar: japanese.stackexchange.com/a/4007, japanese.stackexchange.com/q/1532
    – Arfrever
    Aug 4 at 10:55
  • Thank you again. May I bother you with one last question? You say that “Japanese sentences often have implicit subjects or objects.” Would you say that Japanese sentences often include an object but omit the object particle? That’s the construction that I haven’t noted before.
    – justerman
    Aug 4 at 12:18
  • @justerman I meant that in conversations (which includes both example sentences from your original question), subject is often "I" or "you" and object is often "me" or "you", and Japanese equivalents of them (both noun and particle) are often implicit. When subject or object is something else, I think that it would be better to state it explicitly.
    – Arfrever
    Aug 4 at 12:39
  • @justerman Regarding nouns not followed by particles in sentence, there are different nuances in different contexts or for different constructions. NOUN+する is neutral. For many other verbs, using NOUN instead of NOUN+を may sound colloquial. Omitting が/は for subject may also sound colloquial, but it can be also poetic/archaic. In Old Japanese and Middle Japanese, subject of main clause was not marked by particle が: noun was standing alone. E.g. 世界あり = "World exists."
    – Arfrever
    Aug 4 at 12:44

In this case the て form connects the two distinct clauses.

When we connect two clauses with the て form, there could be the implication that the second clause is a consequence of the first.

We really are saying A & B, meaning A then B. This is because when we say A & B, we usually mean that B happened after A, which is the conditional in its infancy. So the three meanings are deeply connected. (A & B, A then B, if A then B)

一時間 働いて どのくらいのお金がもらえますか。
If I work for an hour, then how much money will I be able to receive?

In the following case, the idea of conditional is even weaker. I would say it's non-existent. This is a A & B meaning A then B. Which is to say B follows A as a consequence, but A actually happened.

ご心配かけて申し訳 ございません
I made you worry, (and / then) I'm sorry. -> Because I made you worry, I'm sorry. -> Sorry for worrying you.

  • Thank you for responding. I should have expressed my question better. Your answer was a succinct and helpful overview of て as a clause connector. But my interest is more about whether something like the participial structure of English is used in Japanese.
    – justerman
    Aug 4 at 7:17
  • @justerman Japanese has different syntax. Whether something is "participial structure" seems rather matter of translation. Japanese does not have such syntactical distinction. (In English, you can forcefully use participial structure even when subjects of clauses are different: "Sun rose, and he woke up." => "With Sun having risen, he woke up.". Japanese translation of both sentences can be the same.)
    – Arfrever
    Aug 4 at 13:10
  • Well, I tried to answer your question thoroughly. I wanted to explain that the distinction that you can make in English grammatically, cannot be done in Japanese. They use the strategy of the て form as I described to mean essentially the same.
    – 0149234
    Aug 4 at 18:09

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