I'm really a 初心者 when it comes to Classical Japanese, and I guess that is what I have here...

一日の苦労は一日にて足れり. 【聖】
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Please, can someone tell me what this is about? 足れり comes from 足りる or is it from 足る?
Moreover, I don't get it... Even with the translation, because I'm not an English native speaker either. So can you put the japanese sentence and/or the English translation in a simpler way, please?

1 Answer 1


足れり is basically the Old/Middle Japanese version of what in Modern Japanese would be 足りている. It consists of 足り (the ren'youkei of 足る) plus あり (modern ある). (It's not 足りあり because of Old Japanese's vowel cluster mergers: /ia/ > /e/.) Modern Japanese 足りている has exactly the same structure as the Middle Japanese version, just with a different conjunction form (-て instead of the bare ren'youkei) and a different 'to be' verb (いる instead of ある); and in this case, the verb has jumped classes since Middle Japanese and is now the kami-ichidan 足りる instead of the yodan 足る. (足る is apparently valid in Modern Japanese, but I at least have never seen it used outside of fossilised constructions or deliberately archaic speech - the vast majority of the time Modern Japanese uses 足りる.)

The sentence as a whole could be somewhat loosely translated as 'the hardships of one day are enough for that day'. A literal translation of 一日にて足れり here sounds weird in English, but it basically means something like 'the action of being enough is complete within [that] one day'.

  • 2
    I think in Modern Japanese 足りている (from 足りる) would be more common than 足っている (from 足る).
    – user1478
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 15:30
  • You're right about that, I don't know that I've ever seen 足る outside of fossilsed or deliberately archaic constructions. I picked it for its equivalence. I'll edit and make that clear, though.
    – Sjiveru
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 19:17
  • @非回答者 足りる etc. sure, but 足る? Or am I just horribly misinformed?
    – Sjiveru
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 7:24

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