The sentence I want to parse is from page 6, chapter 1 of がばいばあちゃん. It reads:


I get the general sense of the sentence. It's saying you can liberate yourself from that kind of life. The って replaces という. The last part, I guess, could be glossed as, 'That kind of thing [i.e. liberating yourself] has got to be possible'. But I'm not sure how the 思うことだって... works exactly. My guess is it comes from 思うことできる (It's possible to think) and the って highlights 思うこと, so maybe you could translate it as,

Such a thing as thinking there is a new chance to liberate yourself from such a life - it's got to be possible!

However, if that were the correct reading, I'm not sure what the だ in the だって is doing exactly. If anyone could help me out, it would be much appreciated.

  • Maybe I hit upon the answer (or an important clue)? The main grammar point used is ことできる (is possible). The だって probably means 'even'. So perhaps the sentence could be parsed: "Even thinking there is a new chance of being liberated from such a life - that's got to be possible." In the next sentence the narrator says something about couples and families talking among themselves about what kind of effort they should make into the future and how this will get rid of the communication gap. – Robert May 12 '17 at 5:12
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    Related, or dupllicate? : japanese.stackexchange.com/q/41970/9831 So... the と思うことだってできる in your example means と思うこともできる "You could even/also think ~~" – Chocolate May 12 '17 at 9:03
  • I don't think it's quite the same. One is, ことだって、できる; the other is, ~だって、ある. They are a similar, but not identical grammatical construction, I believe. – Robert May 12 '17 at 9:12
  • But the usage and meaning of V+ことだって+V which means V+ことも+V are exactly the same, right? – Chocolate May 12 '17 at 9:17
  • You have a point there. I just considered できる and ある separate, because one roughly translates to 'is possible'; and the other, to 'happens (sometimes)'. – Robert May 12 '17 at 9:21



あなた may even be able to think that そんな人生から開放される新たなチャンスだ.

You may be able to think that it's a new chance which will release you from such a (miserable) life.

  • Ah, I see! It seems much clearer when you put it that way. Just to clarify: the だって is similar to も and means 'even'? Also you translated あらたなチャンス as 'a good chance'. Dictionary says あらた means 'fresh; new; novel'. Could you also say 'a fresh chance', for example? – Robert May 12 '17 at 5:44
  • @Robert You asked me if 思うことも is similar to 思うことだって. Hmmm.... Yes, but the も in 思うことも means too/also , not means exactly even. As for good, it's a typo!?, it must have been new/fresh/novel as you said. – mackygoo May 12 '17 at 6:15
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    I believe も can also mean 'even', generally in a negative sense. jisho.org/search/%E3%82%82 renshuu.org/index.php?id=117&page=grammar/individual – Robert May 12 '17 at 8:07

I think your guess is right and the key is 思うことできる. In fact, if you replace だって with or , the meaning of the sentence becomes clearer IMO:

thinking XXX should be possible [to you]

Putting back だって makes it into:

XXXと思うことだってできるはずだ 。
Even (such thing as) thinking XXX should be possible [to you]

On meanings of だって: だって (datte) meaning

  • Thanks! It helps when you put it like that. I can see much more clearly how the meaning is constructed. – Robert May 12 '17 at 9:16

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