In a game I am playing, I ran across the sentence,


It appears that both 欠片 and ひとひら are nouns. After this, there is no particle before the verb. What type of grammar structure is this?
I found a translation online that suggests that this line means "Nimbly a white fragment like a petal floated down," which makes sense, but I am not sure how the sentence means this.


ひとひら is not a noun, but a number ([1]{ひと}) and a counter for a thin and flat object like a petal ([片]{ひら} or [枚]{ひら}, usually written in kana). Thus, that sentence has the same structure as 男が[1人]{ひとり}入ってきた, 髪が[10本]{じゅっぽん}抜けた, or ケーキが[2]{ふた}つある.

  • In addition, this is grammarwise called adverbial usage in numeral. Feb 22 '16 at 4:42
  • Thank you. I had a feeling I was missing something when reading the text. It's funny that it was so simple. I guess I need to study counters more. I feel like the translation I found on the internet might be part of why I was confused (they put "like a petal" and ひとひら can apparently mean petal).
    – user7432
    Feb 22 '16 at 5:43

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