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After a brief hiatus I'm getting back into my Japanese study. I've hit a roadblock straight away ;-) I am having trouble with the use of '使ってみなさい' here. I don't think I've seen it before. -なさい means "please don't do ". Then the sentence after that, I am confused by the use of 'ない’.

Could somebody help me with the translation please?

(context: Zelda guide book talking about using new items that you find)

ちなみに宝箱やツボの中から入手できる矢束、爆弾などは、「その場で使ってみなさい」という、さりげないヒントであることが多い。 (By the way, inside treasure chests and jars you can get arrows, bombs etc. [that place please don’t see and use ] there are many casual hints。)

使っても意味のない場所やタイミングでアイテムが手に入ることはないのだ。

I'm sure it ends with saying "there is no need to obtain items" but that makes little sense. The beginning of the sentence is confusing to me, I cannot even guess at what it is trying to say. The meaning of [their] use... not at this place?

Really struggling...

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    More hints: 宝箱やツボの中から入手できる modifies 矢束、爆弾など by the "verb in plain form immediately followed by a noun" pattern, so it should be the arrows, bombs etc. **that** you can get inside treasure chests and jars which is then the topic for the rest of the sentence. Also, ヒントである means is a hint and <clause>ことが多い means it is often (the case) that <clause>, there are many (situations, times) where <clause>. (It has to be である and not だ, which means the same thing, because only である can modify the following noun こと.) – Hyperworm Nov 3 '14 at 14:59
  • Wow I didn't know that. I'd better jot that down. Thank you. – VictorySaber Nov 4 '14 at 9:08
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~なさい gets appended to the stem of the verb. Here, you have the compound verb 使ってみる "to try to use", whose stem is 使ってみ. Appending ~なさい gives

使ってみなさい
Try to use [it]!
Give it a try!

For the second part, you are probably more confused by the の than by the ない.

使っても意味のない場所

is

[使っても意味がない] 場所

after "ga-no conversion". That is, 使っても意味がない modifies 場所, giving

使っても意味のない場所
a place, where using [it] is pointless/useless

  • Aaaaah I think I was getting なさい confused with "ないでください". I do recall now the use of ーてみる for "try to use". Obviously more rusty than I thought! Thank you! – VictorySaber Nov 3 '14 at 10:20

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