I always thought that this started with 'afurete' and it made sense to me. But when I saw it written down (instead of hearing it) I realized that it was arifurete, and now the whole paragraph doesn't make sense to me.

ありふれて 足許に 弱く弱く耀く あの欠片は夢、 だったのかな

Is there a special meaning to 'arifurete' that I do not understand? I thought it meant 'banal' or 'common'/'ordinary'.

If it helps, the previous part is 'can't get used to wanting to cry'.. or perhaps I mistranslated that part?


I don't even think I should show how I translated it, as I am pretty sure it's wrong, but if necessary, I'll edit it in, just let me know.

EDIT: Here is the full text for context, but I don't think there is any context to the part that I cannot understand/translate.


  • 1
    what's the context? Dec 17, 2016 at 9:05
  • I'm afraid that is the context. This paragraph is very much standalone. They are lyrics of a song so maybe if that helps, I could edit in the entire thing?
    – Student
    Dec 17, 2016 at 9:14
  • maybe add a link to the full lyrics Dec 17, 2016 at 9:19

2 Answers 2


ありふれて is indeed an infrequent form in modern language, as only ありふれた or ありふれている is actively used as though an adjective that means "commonplace" or such things.

But ありふれて itself is the te-form of the verb ありふれる "to exist everywhere", thus means some kind of continuation: "is everywhere, and..." or "is everywhere, so that..." or just "being everywhere, ..." etc.

The main reason the lyricist avoided ありふれた (or ありふれている) in this place is, I guess, ありふれた足許に… would be parsed as ありふれた modifies the following noun 足許 at first hearing (see garden path sentence). ありふれて makes sure that this word doesn't go straight to the next word, but to 欠片 together with the next phrase. But it is very much close to artistic license; in usual conversation you probably use ありふれていて or other.

So, altogether it'd mean:

I wonder, if they were the dream, the shards in every corner, shining so faintly at my feet

I don't know how much it helps, but these are the only four examples in BCCWJ corpus to use ありふれる in its non-participle form.

  • いかにも時代がかったものと違って、ありふれすぎて別段の奇もなさそうに見えるせいであろうか。(向井敏・机上の一群)
  • とすれば、話しことばはどこに行ってもありふれてあるように、地名もまた同じものがどこにでもあるし…(都丸十九一・地名研究入門)
  • だが、ボタンもありふれてしまえば、そうした怖れさえ日常化する。(松山巖・手の孤独、手の力)
  • 人々は、人生の目的など、むずかしく考えれば考える程、わからなくなる。ありふれて軽い考えをもってくれば、愛、感謝、許容など、当たり前のことが、浮上してくる。(阿波根朝宏・新世紀の歴史の流れと私の証言)
  • What do you think of @Enno Shioji's opinion that the shards might have an animal characteristic? I do think that the song itself is about the shards themselves. I like your answer a lot, but is it possible to somehow rephrase 'the shards in every corner' to something that would make them more important?
    – Student
    Dec 17, 2016 at 11:53
  • Sorry for double comment, but I can't edit my first one. I haven't gotten this far into my studies, but for example, is it possible at arifurete modifies 'kagayaku', so that the meaning becomes 'I wonder, if they were a dream, the shards ordinarily, faintly, faintly, shining at my feet'?
    – Student
    Dec 17, 2016 at 12:11
  • @Student I don't have an artistic mind so please make a discount :) but I think "by choice" would be a bit too much, because both ありふれる and 耀く need not to be willful actions (I doesn't tend to agree his interpretation to treat ありふれて adverbially either). They possibly see themselves in the shards, but it doesn't immediately mean the actions are spontaneous. Dec 17, 2016 at 12:20
  • @Student I mean, I could possibly make the phrase more significant like "the shards sit in every corner", but no more "willingly" they could be IMO. Dec 17, 2016 at 12:31
  • so at the end of the day, arifurete definitely modifies the interpretation of 'kakera'? 'The commonplace shards'? I just feel like there's a deeper meaning to it unable to be expressed in the english language. Back when I thought that it was 'afurete' instead of 'arifurete', I interpreted that it meant the lyricist was 'seeing himself' in a way, through the shards. With arifurete, that interpretation is far less likely, isn't it? Perhaps the important thing here is 'they were the dream', to imply that it was the goal, which in turn implies that the lyricist no longer has them?
    – Student
    Dec 17, 2016 at 12:49

The way I read it, ありふれた describes the shards. ありふれた is used commonly in poetic context and means "ordinary", but often with the implication that those ordinary things are actually special and valuable (あの頃の ありふれた 日常が 今は... etc.)

ありふれて耀く is an unnatural way of using ありふれた because it implies the shards are being ordinary by choice. IMO this could have been done to give the shards an animal characteristic, or simply to make the length & rhythm work.

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