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What is the difference between びっくりした and びっくりするじゃないの?

The only thing I can think of is that one is just a general way of saying that something scared you, whilst the other is a way of "blaming" the person who did something which scared you.

Another question is, how does びっくりしたじゃないか etc. (i.e. the た form usage) differ in usage to びっくりするじゃないか?

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4 Answers 4

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There are a few different answers here, without full context it's hard to say which it is, but as a teenager living in Japan Noah's answer, "Wouldn't that scare anyone?" is what I think is the most likely to be accurate.

In direct translation 「びっくりした」means "I was startled" and 「びっくりするじゃないの?」would be "Isn't it startling?" Which personally I've never heard in the same context, but I'm not a native speaker. Rather than "startled" I wonder if "surprised" would be a better translation? Again depends on the context;-;

Scenarios I can imagine this being said are if person 1 was started and laughed at for being scared, and they want to express that it's only natural that they got scared, "Wouldn't anyone be startled?" But say they startled someone else and they had no reaction, maybe it could be used to say, "Shouldn't you be startled?"

But say for instance two people are talking about a crazy event that happened, then maybe it could be translated into "Isn't / Wasn't that surprising?" or even a situation where one person was surprised and the other wasn't, then it's the same as the above but rather than scared/startled they were surprised.

In spoken Japanese the tone of voice would also help. All the above is assuming the の has a question connotation, but if it were said with a downward tone and possibly whiny sort of way, it could also mean like "Hey don't startle me like that" Like Noah stated.

It's all very confusing hope this helps give more perspective at least, try comparing it to the context and make your own interpretation.

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びっくりした means "I'm surprised". びっくりするじゃないの means "You surprised me".

You use びっくりしたじゃないか when you are surprised. You use びっくりするじゃないか when you are about to be surprised and not surprised.

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Straightly put,

びっくりした

means "I'm surprised!"

On the other hand,

びっくりするじゃないの

means "Shouldn't you be surprised?"

Hope this helps.

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  • @macko is asking about びっくりするじゃないの, not するんじゃないの.
    – Yosh
    Jun 17, 2015 at 2:48
  • Ahh, in this case, びっくりする is treated as a noun, negated by じゃない.
    – guestdave
    Jun 17, 2015 at 2:49
  • I'm not sure if we can consider it negation: when somebody (A) says "びっくりするじゃないか/の" to someone else, A is scared, right?
    – Yosh
    Jun 17, 2015 at 2:57
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It's a little difficult to tell for certain without punctuation or context, but...

The first one almost certainly means "[I'm] Surprised" (or something like "You startled me").

The second one probably means something like "Don't Surprise me!" (As in "Don't sneak up on me!", etc.) For example, parents often say to children "~するじゃないのよ!" to mean "Don't ~". (This is colloquial).

For your second question, again, without context, it's a bit difficult to answer, but "びっくりしたじゃないか" would typically be in reference to something that just happened, to express shock like "Well that was surprising, wasn't it!"

"びっくりするじゃないか?" is more like "[That kind of thing] would surprise anyone, right?", and would more likely be used express surprise in context of something you heard on the news, etc., or suppose that it would be surprising to people in general.

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