I know that 別に means "not particularly" sometimes, but what is its role in this sentence?


I assume it means something like "it's not exactly the first time I've seen Yamada in plain clothes", but I don't know what exactly 別に is doing or what verb it's modifying.


 Certainly. The definition given in 大辞林 is below.

( 副 ) (下に打ち消しの語を伴って)取り立てて言うこともないという気持ちを表す。とりたてて。特別に。 「 -用はありません」 「 -変わった様子もない」 〔その話題を軽く拒否する気持ちを表す。応答の言葉として,感動詞的にも用いられる。「『寒くないか』 『-』」〕

So as you said, "not necessarily need to mention 〜", "It goes so particularly without saying..." etc?

And what it modifies is the postpositional particle ぬ or ない, which denotes the denial of the noun, noun phrase, adjective, etc, which comes "before" ぬ or ない。

Ex : 今日は別に寒くない。--> Today, it is not cold especially.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.