I've across come this sentence and I've been wondering how to deconstruct its grammar for my own understanding/use (if I understood it correctly in the first place, that is).


It looks to me like ここまで [noun clause] [conj.] 初めて [copula*] [sentence ending prt.] ~~ [sentence 2]。

*Well, rather a '連用形{れんようけい} form of だ' as I learned today, but we could just forget about sentence 2 and revert it to だ?

So if I wanted to say something like "it was the first time such a thing happened", would


be grammatically correct?

I may have gotten this all completely wrong since I'm basing it off another person's translation so please correct me if that's the case.


1 Answer 1


ここまで literally means "up to here/this place". ここ -- similar to the English word here -- does not always literally refer to a place and may be used in an extended sense.

"I don't like anonymous downvoters. So here's my opportunity to say something about it: 'Please leave a comment if you downvote this post.'"

here(3): used when indicating a time, point, or situation that has arrived or is happening -- Oxford Dictionary of English

As for your sentence, we can analyze the first part in isolation.


In this sentence, we could say that ここまで effectively modifies 乱暴. At least, we don't need the rest of the sentence. ここまで乱暴とはな would already be a valid statement.

ここ, instead of a point in space, points to a point on the 乱暴-scale. まで marks it as an upper limit (or rather extent) with a negative (or positive, depending on the polarity of what it modifies, see below) connotation, ie. that it is rather high up on the scale. Which may be good or bad.

Normally, 乱暴 carries a negative connotation, but if said by some street gangster, it could be positive. Or perhaps easier to understand, it can be used with a positive attribute:



This doesn't work, at least not with the same interpretation as above, where ここまで modified 乱暴. There is no adjective or anything else where it would make sense to modify it. You can't modify そんな (=such a), which is a modifier for こと already. The phrase after ここまで is そんなことは初めてだ. It doesn't make sense to modify this either, as you would end up with something like the extent, to which such a thing is being the first, is high.

However, the sentence is grammatical under another interpretation; that there had been no such thing up until now.

ここ usually marks the current place (here), and here, in extension, the current time (now). So if you're confused with the usage of ここ here, perhaps you could think of it as up to here and now. Another rather common sentence pattern is:

(ここ・今)まで そんなことは なかった

(Up) until now, (such a thing/that) didn't happen.

Language is complex and given the right context, a lot is possible. Here's one more sentence I found:

(The beginning of a review of a game from a series. Based upon past games, the reviewer expects something that's normal average and simple to play.]

だけどここまでそんな気持ちを裏切られたのも久しぶりのような気がする (It feels it has been a while since that feeling/expectation/mood got betrayed this much.)

It's just coincidence that そんな occurs directly after ここまで -- it just specifies 気持ち, namely what the author mentioned in the previous sentence.

But betraying (そんな気持ちを裏切る) is an action which may be modified by specifying a degree, eg with ここまで, and that's what's happening in this sentence.

As for your sentence, it's the first time something like that happened, you could just say:


Optionally, you can make it more specific and describe how much of what it is:



  • 大それた wild, crazy, mad, outrageous
  • 妄想じみた foolish, delusional
  • 常識はずれ far beyond common sense
  • 前代未聞 unheard of, unprecedented

These sentences are of the pattern:

(ここ・そこ・あそこ)(まで) (adjectival phrase+こと)は (some statement)

Literally, you could interpret it as A thing that is X to such an extent that [statement].

Finally, some real and more interesting examples from real life:

  • うちの姉がここまで常識はずれの人間だとは思っていなかった
  • 山口社長に直接聞いたわけでもないくせに、よくここまで妄想じみたこと書けるよ
  • 自分が天皇に取って代わろうなんて、そこまで大それたことを考えるヤツは、さすがにいなかった


The choice of the right word from the こそあ(ど) series depends upon the context and your relation to the matter at hand.

  • (伊豆屋旅館の口コミ情報, review by a visitor) 混浴ブームとはいえ、まさかここまで身も蓋もない混浴があるとは。
  • 補足いただきありがとうございました。そこまで身も蓋もない由来だったとは。
  • むしろあの立場であそこまで身も蓋もない表現ができる大胆さに拍手を送りたいくらいだ(笑)

In the first sentence, the author is somebody who had first-hand experience. In the second sentence, the author refers to a 補足 from a post above (そこ). In the third sentence, the author refers to a talk or comment by somebody, the relation already being specified by あの立場.

  • "In this sentence, we could say that ここまで effectively modifies 乱暴." - but why? Doesn't まで apply to the whole main clause that comes after (I've scanned the まで page from my grammar book - imgur.com/EKi2vwU)? E.g. here うちの姉がここまで常識はずれの人間だとは思っていなかった, doesn't it apply to (me) not having though of that before, "I didn't think my sister was an eccentric/lacked common sense until now"? Am I just really really confused right now? O.o
    – cirno
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 9:15
  • Thank you for your very detailed answer, by the way! I'll need more time to look through it properly to see if I have more questions.
    – cirno
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 9:39
  • @cirno As I thought about it, it got longer and longer, so I posted a reply in the chat.. Perhaps what I should mention too, is that we can have relative and embedded sentences/clause. Most particles apply only to that sub-clause. For example: 今までやったことのあるゲームをリスナーさんにまとめていただきました. The part in bold ("games that I've played so far") is a noun modified by a sub clause, this noun is then embedded in the main clause. 今まで applies only to the sub clause.
    – blutorange
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 11:08
  • The entire sentence means: "I had my listeners collect [create a list of] all the games I've played so far". Same reasoning applies to the sentence you mentioned. うちの姉がここまで常識はずれの人間だ is a sentence by itself, it then gets embedded in Xとは思っていなかった. Wanted to keep this short, but it got longer again... but please reply in chat.
    – blutorange
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 11:13
  • "I don't like anonymous downvoters. So here's my opportunity to do so..." This "to do so" is confusing, as grammatically it seems to mean "to like anonymous downvoters." Maybe you meant something like "to say something" instead of "to do so"?
    – Kimball
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 13:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .