2

If こわれかけのオルゴール was 壊れかけのオルゴール, 壊れ would be the stem of 壊れる, and かけ would probably be a noun. Since I'm just learning Japanese, I don't understand where かけ comes from. What meaning does かけ have in こわれかけのオルゴール?

6

「かけ」 comes from the verb 「かける」, which is a key verb with over a dozen meanings.

See definition #15 in this dictionary.

To summarize the pertinent parts of #15 in my own way, it says the following.

「Verb in [連用形]{れんようけい} (continuative form) + かける」 means:

"to start (verb)ing", "to start (verb)ing and stop in the middle without completing", "to be about to (verb)", "to almost (verb)", etc.

Please note that 「こわれ」 is the 連用形 of the verb 「こわれる」. Thus, the compound verb 「こわれかける」 means "to start breaking (apart)", "to start malfunctioning", "to be about to go out of order", etc.

How about the form 「こわれかけ」, you ask. Think of it as a noun form of 「こわれかける」. If you have a noun, you know you can attach a 「の」 to it.

「こわれかけオルゴール」=「オルゴール that is in the こわれかけ state」

= "a/the half-broken music box "

  • Can it mean "a music box that was broken not long ago"? – Weijun Zhou Feb 6 '18 at 6:50
  • 1
    @WeijunZhou Never, as ~かける means something has not yet reached that (full) state. – broccoli forest Feb 7 '18 at 3:16
  • @broccoliforest Thank you for your clarification. – Weijun Zhou Feb 7 '18 at 4:08

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.