1

In English, there's a difference between saying "That pumpkin really is a big fruit" vs "That pumpkin is a really big fruit".

The former emphasizes "is", or the belief of the statement being asserted, whereas the later emphasizes the attribute being asserted.

However, if I put that sentence through Google Translate or Deepl, they both translate it to:

あのカボチャは本当に大きな果物だ。

And then if I reverse it, they both output:

That pumpkin is a really big fruit.

Which is of course similar, but loses the original usage of "really".

Is there a way in Japanese to maintain this usage of "really", to apply it to the verb?

2
  • For the latter, ...すごい大きな果物 or ...めっちゃ大きな果物 might work, I think May 15 at 0:59
  • It would be possible if the sentence had a verb, but not with the copula (だ).
    – aguijonazo
    May 15 at 1:18

1 Answer 1

1

あのカボチャは本当に大きな果物だ。

This sentence is ambiguous. Without context, you cannot tell if this 本当に is supposed to mean "incredibly/very" (as an intensifier) or "it's true / indeed" (as a confirmation of a fact). But even if this is technically ambiguous, you usually don't have to "fix" it; the previous context will tell the intended meaning. (Try providing Google Translate or DeepL with more context.)

However, if you really want a less ambiguous sentence, there are a few options:

  • 本当に、あのカボチャは大きな果物だ。: This is like saying "Indeed, ..." at the beginning of a sentence, making the "confirmation" reading more likely.
  • あのカボチャは実に大きな果物だ。: This type of 実に unambiguously strengthens 大きな, i.e., "really big". But 実に is a bit stilted expression, so we usually use simpler intensifiers such as とても or すごく in casual situations.
  • あのカボチャが大きいというのは本当だ。: This is perfectly unambiguous, "It's true that that pumpkin is big".

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .