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I don't understand how to describe a recurring or retrieved condition. Is there a special way to express sentences like:

a) I was sick, but now (just now), I am finally better again.

I want to express that being healthy is the normal state, "had been sick" was a longer but now ended period and that for the future the expectation is "to be fine".

b) As a child, I had a book, it got lost, but finally (just now) I found it again (this time I will take care not to loose it again).

I know there is "bakari ~ta" for the "happened just now" part, but how do I express the rest of the structure, mostly regarding time and correlation?

  • I'm not sure to understand the nuance you're looking for... is it "I found it, so..."(future is going to change). maybe せっかく ? – WKx Mar 23 '15 at 4:16
  • WKx: Thanks, but I don't think this is what I am looking for. – user2567875 Mar 23 '15 at 5:43
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I think the difference has more to do with semantics rather than specific words or phrasing. Even in English, we say "I was sick, but I got better", to imply that being "well" is the normal state, probably because being sick in prolonged state is not commonly seen, but if you wanted to, you could also use the same exact wording to indicate recovering from a chronic illness. When one says "今は大丈夫です", does it mean she had the cold for a week? or did she have CML for years and got better with bone marrow transplant?

I mean, you could say something like "元気な姿に戻った" for a, since we want to indicate returning to a normal state (being healthy). For b, you're saying that the book is loss-prone and the borderline-normal state is being lost. There's not a good way to express this without being wordy or saying something completely different. I think you would literally need to say something along the lines of "今回は紛失しない".

TL; DR: I don't think there's a concise way to mark the difference.

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As for example (a), it would be natural to say for example:

a) (ずっと)[寝込]{ねこ}んでいましたが、(やっと|ようやく)[元気]{げんき}になりました。

In this expression, ずっと "for a long time" and やっと/ようやく "finally" seems to be kind of key words in expressing notions in your question.

One point you have to note here is that this structure automatically contains an implication of "long-held wish coming true". So, if you say for example:

(ずっと)[探]{さが}していた[本]{ほん}が(やっと)[見]{み}つかりました!

it means that you have always been longing for finding the book again. Otherwise if you have given up finding the book long ago, saying for example:

b) (なんと)[子]{こ}どもの[頃]{ころ}になくしてしまった本が[出]{で}てきました!

may be a natural utterance. (なんと here is an interjection to emphasize your surprise.)

Btw, though studying these words (ずっと、やっと、ようやく、なんと) would be helpful, basically I agree with FJSK in that these specific words are not necessarily fundamental for these expressions. You can drop all these words from above sentences, and they still make sense totally grammatically.

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