I came across this and don't quite understand is meaning. One character orders another to forget something, who nods agreement but thinks to themselves:


What does 忘れようったって mean here? Something like "even if I want to forget"?


See this デジタル大辞泉's entry:

[連語]《格助詞「と」と動詞「いう」の連用形に接続助詞「たって」の付いた「といったって」の音変化》名詞、活用語の終止形、動詞と一部の助動詞の命令形、一部の助詞に付く。上に促音の付いた「ったって」の形をとることが多い。ある事柄を認めるにしても、全面的にではないという気持ちを表す。…といっても。…としても。「登山―、ハイキング程度さ」「来いっ―すぐには行けない」「買うっ―近くに店はないよ」 [補説]打ち解けた話し言葉で用いられる。

So ったって after a noun, a dictionary/imperative form of a verb, or a dictionary form of an adjective is a contracted form of と言ったって (lit. "although one says ~", "even if they say ~").

忘れようったって忘れられない literally means "Even if I say I will forget, I can't forget".

Note that たって directly after te-form is not a contracted form of と言ったって, but this:



  • 走ったって問題ない。 There's no problem if I run. (te-form of 走る happens to be 走っ)
  • 走るったって、今日は雨だよ。 Even if you say you run, it's raining today.
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Double contraction is taking place here.



which means:



= "Even if I/you/we said 'Let's forget!'"

The last part of the sentence 「忘れられない」, of course, means "I/you/we can't (forget)."

This construct, which uses the same verb twice, is very common. In its first appearance, the verb can be in a few different forms such as volitional, imperative, etc., but in its second appearance, the verb must be put in a negative form.

「[食]{く}えったって食えねえよ、[納豆]{なっとう}だけは!」= "Just can't eat nattou no matter what!"

(Notice I did not employ the silly literal TL of "Even if someone told me to eat nattou, I could not eat it!")

「ハワイに[連]{つ}れてってって言われても、連れていけないよ~。お[金]{かね}ないもん!」 Yes, I did use 「連れてってって」 correctly. = 「連れていってって」 = 「連れていってと」

"You ask me to take you to Hawaii, but I can't. I ain't got much money!"

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  • According to the book I read, the volitional form + ったって・たって means volitional form + としても, so it is something like even if I try to forget, I am not able to. I think. – personanongrata Jul 11 '18 at 13:18

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