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In 祈りの歌 song, they have a line that I don't understand pretty much (actually all of them but I want to focus on this line)

出会てよかった

And え, is really piss me off. I actually don't what is it. I have look up dictionary, and I found few possibility:

  1. 出会 → (noun)
  2. 出会う → (godan verb)
  3. 出会い → (godan verb)

Well, obviously verb can not be the front of sentence (in Jp). So I only choose the first word. But if I choose noun, then I can't explain what does the え mean?

But if I choose godan verb う, yes, I can explain it. But isn't it nonsense? I thought verb can not be in front of sentence?!?

  • The verb is at the end. It's just that everything that usually comes before the verb is omitted. A longer sentence is eg. 「この恋が儚い愛だとしても僕はそれでも君に出会えてよかった」 – blutorange Dec 4 '14 at 11:12
  • The noun is 出会い. – user4092 Dec 5 '14 at 2:39
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[出会]{であ}えてよかった。

translates to "A was happy to have been able to meet B" or more literally "it was good to have been able to meet B."

(just from the fragment I'm not sure who A and B are).


Now, I'll give explanation a shot. You're completely right that is a form of the verb [出会]{であ}う.

As a Go-dan う verb, the potential form is 出会える.

出会えて is a conjugation often called 〜て形 in foreign language learner contexts (I learned it that way a long time ago).

In this case, this て case ending means "because"

You state:

Well, obviously verb can not be the front of sentence (in Jp)

I think I get what's motivating this sentence, but it is at best ill-worded.

What is closer to being true is that in a Japanese sentence, the main verb of the sentence comes at the end of the sentence (though there can be sentences with no verbs ones where there's no verb in that position) in contrast to the preference in English and Chinese for the verb to be in the middle.

Words that are verbs or their conjugations can occur just about anywhere in a sentence in Japanese. (This is I think less true in English).

In the sentence you give, よかった function as the verb. The かった end marks it as the past tense form of an adjective -- specifically the adjective よい (いい)...

  • Thank you so much for your explaination. But I still got a little bit confuse: 1. So this is a two sentence right? 2. If this is conjugation ~て形, then why is it turn into え? In my book, it say remove う and replace って. Why in that line is "出会えて"? – Star Light Dec 4 '14 at 14:18
  • This amounts to one sentence in Japanese... I'm not grasping why it would need to be two. In English, do I need to two sentences to express, "meeting you was fortunate it"? I think one is enough. – virmaior Dec 4 '14 at 15:57
  • 出会っって and 出会えて are two different things. 出会って = meeting you. 出会えて = being able to meet you. The latter could (depending on context) be a polite form for the former or a genuine expression of the potential feature. – virmaior Dec 4 '14 at 15:58
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    @StarLight You missed part of virmaior's explanation. It's 出会う → 出会える → 出会えて. – snailcar Dec 4 '14 at 18:28

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