I am unfamiliar with this expression, but I'm curious as to what it means and when it's used.


If I were to try and translate it literally, it would be something like "I can only watch outside", but I believe it must have some Idiomatic meaning? Perhaps it's like how we say "I can only watch from a distance" in English? In any case an explanation would be much appreciated!



If you were to translate this literally, it should be "I am watching only outside". There should be no can. 見てる is the contraction of 見ている, where いる is a subsidiary verb that denotes an action in progress (i.e., "be ~ing"). Of course the subject is not specified, so the same sentence can mean "You are watching only outside" or "She is watching only outside" or anything, depending on the context.

There is no idiomatic meaning here, but a sentence like this typically implies the person is bored and/or distracted.



The tacit subject of the phrase is you not I like:

あなたは外ばっか見てる = あなたは外ばかり見ている

in the context like:

私は、あなたに私をじっと見てほしい。なのに(= しかし)、あなたは、外ばっか見てる。 私、さみしいわ。

  • I see, and I was right in my assumption the expression means to "[you] can only watch outside" ? is there a more natural way to express this in English? – Metroill Jun 7 '17 at 14:23
  • @Metroill: You have been looking only outside. You are looking only outside. You continue/keep looking only outside. – mackygoo Jun 7 '17 at 14:33

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