I don't know how to translate this sentence. Can you help me? Here is the sentence:


I think it's really difficult to translate " 動詞+かのような+名詞 "

1 Answer 1


The key phrase is "as if". It should work basically every time you need to translate a phrase containing 「かのような」.

"Verb Phrase + かのような + Noun" = "(Noun) as if (Verb Phrase) "

Whatever event is described in the verb phrase DID NOT occur. Instead, it feels [just] as if it had happened; It is always a metaphorical expression or simile.

「[頭]{あたま}に[釘]{くぎ}を[打]{う}たれたかのような[激痛]{げきつう}」 =

"a/the 激痛 that felt as if 頭に釘を打たれた" =

"an acute pain that felt as if I had a nail hammered into my head"

It lasted over a day.

It would have lasted many weeks if someone actually hammered a nail down into the guy's head, wouldn't it have?

  • 2
    Reading over this answer, the position of "just" before "feels" felt wrong to me. It just doesn't seem like just the right place to put it. (My sense is that "just feels ..." often signals the beginning of an expression that emphasizes feeling seems inappropriate to the speaker but "feels just ..." emphasizes the aptness of the metaphor? other English speakers want to check that?)
    – virmaior
    Nov 8, 2017 at 5:02

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