From what I can find out, "たっけ" is just an expression that shows that you're trying to remember something, but what does the "だった" part mean? I have a few guesses, but they don't seem to match that well to what I can understand from it.

Full sentence: "今日一限から英語だったっけ"


The particle -kke is an interrogatory particle that marks a recollection, or the failure thereof, in the case a question word appears. The particle's usage is often introspective: the speaker asks him/herself whether something is recollected properly.
Recollections are usually about the past, but it is possible to ask oneself whether a certain event in the future, or a state that ranges from the past into the present, is properly recalled. In that case, many languages use past tense to mark the non-past event.
The particle -kke often appears with -da, or its past form -dat-ta, as in the OP's example eigo-dat-ta-kke. In the form -dat-ta-kke, past tense -dat-ta emphasizes the function of introspective speech marked by -kke. Translations into English can then use the past tense, and possibly the adverb again:

  'What was (that) again?'

The OP's example must be understood in one specific way. The example is repeated below:

  'Was it English from the first period today?'

Since the example contains 今日 きょう, rather than 今朝 けさ, we can infer that the speaker asks before class. S/He is trying to recollect whether English is the first subject of the day. In that case, the speaker tries to recollect (remembered) data of a future event. Even though the event is about the future, the past tense -dat-ta serves to emphasizes the introspective function of -kke. The English translation shows that using the past tense in these situations is not unique to Japanese.

  • note that this is not formal. – v.oddou May 17 '18 at 2:43

It directly translates to "it was so". Used to state a fact.

Ex: 昨日は休みだった。(It was a holiday yesterday)

It directly translates to "was/is it?" When you say だったっけ it becomes a question.

Ex: 今日休みだったっけ? (Is it a holiday today?)


In this case, they both have almost the same meaning.

「今日一郎から英語だったっけ」 ~ "Was English from first period today?"

「今日一郎から英語だっけ」 ~ "Is English from first period today?"

It's also important to note that the present tense doesn't really get used with 「っけ」 for anything other than 「だ」. It's weird to say,

「どう思うっけ」 ~ "What do I think I thought I am thinking again...." { << This sounds crazy. }


「どう思ったっけ」 ~ "What did X think of that again...?"

is totally normal.

  • Often, to get away with using 「っけ」 in the present tense, for stuff like "What does Machiko think of that again?" you can use 「んだっけ」 on the present tense of the verb: 「真知子ちゃんどう思うんだっけ?」 – YsAdamsson Dec 24 '14 at 10:08
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    It's 一限, which means first period, rather than 一郎 (a name). This mistake throws off your attempt at explanation. – Thomas Gross Dec 24 '14 at 14:55
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    1限 and 1コマ are different. 1限 is the 1st period of the day, usually 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.(depending on the uni, though). 1コマ is 1 period, quantity of periods. – marasai Dec 25 '14 at 5:53
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    @marasai おひさ!お帰りやす!! – user1016 Dec 25 '14 at 6:39
  • 1
    @choko おひさしブリーフ(古い – marasai Dec 31 '14 at 8:54

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