I just read this question but was confused by a different aspect of the example sentence:


The question's answer is perfectly clear about the meaning, but I don't understand how the grammar of the part in bold works. When I see から I think of either 'from', 'because' or (if it's て-form) 'after'. None of these seem to work.

On it's own, the first clause (to me) reads

from the person who has finished drinking milk

but such a translation clearly doesn't fit with the rest of the sentence.

Is it a geneal rule that

verb-past + noun + から = as noun does verb

What about the tense/aspect of the verb? Some more examples would also be appreciated.

  • This is a good question, answered well by Shoko, but the title does not really fit. You are asking about this particular meaning of から after a noun phrase. The "verb" is only part of the qualifying verbal phrase 牛乳を飲み終わった, which has nothing specific to do with the question. Perhaps a better title would be "Meaning of から after a noun phrase", or something similar, though it's hard not to end up writing the answer in the question: "Sequential meaning of から". Mar 22 '17 at 8:23
  • @BrianChandler You make a good point. I'm never sure whether ex post facto title changes are a good idea though. The current title relects the problem I thought I had, and therefore the problem other people might think they have. If you feel differently I have no problem with you editing the title. Mar 22 '17 at 9:08

According to 明鏡国語辞典:

❼ 順序を表す。「好きなものから食べる」「子供から診察する」

And デジタル大辞泉:

5 動作・作用の開始順序や発端を示す。「先着の人から入場してください」

I think the から indicates the starting point of order, meaning 「~~から順番に」「~~から順に」, "starting from~~, in order from~~".

"Starting from the person who has finished drinking milk, do ~~ in turn", hence the translation "As you finish drinking the milk, take turns in..."

I hope this makes sense.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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