I am wondering how I express my feelings about an action that has already occurred/been performed.

For example, how would I state the following:

  • I am happy to have returned home.
  • I am sad that I missed the train.
  • I am upset that I finished the apples.

My best guess for the first example is the following:

However, I am unsure about my usage of こと. If it is correct are there other ways of writing this kind of sentence that I should be aware of?

I know that の is also used for verb nominalisation but as far as I could find online that would be wrong since the two actions are being performed at different points in time, right?

  • 2
    what are your attempts at forming these sentences with those sentiments?
    – A.Ellett
    Jul 12, 2017 at 2:15
  • My best attempt at the first one is: 帰ったことが嬉しい。 But I'm not sure if I'm using こと correctly in this context; I'm also a little unsure of my usage of the word 帰る but that's a different issue. Even if that is correct, are there other ways of phrasing it that I should be aware of?
    – Jon D
    Jul 12, 2017 at 2:22
  • @JonathanDiGiacomo Please incorporate your attempts into your question otherwise people would think it a simple translation request. Jul 12, 2017 at 2:28
  • @broccoliforest sorry for failing to do that originally. I can see how my question sounded like a translation request.
    – Jon D
    Jul 12, 2017 at 2:45
  • 1
    Te-form for reason works fine.
    – naruto
    Jul 12, 2017 at 4:19

2 Answers 2


Yes, your use of ~た + こと construction is correct. You can express the sentiment about an event that happened in the past at the moment of feeling.

  • 家に帰れた[こと/の]‌がうれしい。
    *Equivalent of "happy that --" is typically expressed with potential form, especially for the action of yourself.
  • 電車を逃【の】がした[こと/の]‌が残念だ。
  • りんごを全部食べてしまったことにうろたえている。

However, the sentiment toward what has (just) happened is simply described with the successive function of te-form.

  • 家に帰れうれしい。
  • 電車を逃がし(てしまっ)残念だ。
  • りんごを全部食べてしまっうろたえている。
  • 1
    "happy that V" は happy that SV か happy to V じゃなくて・・?
    – chocolate
    Jul 12, 2017 at 7:00
  • @Chocolate そうですよね。それから、「たことが+形容詞」と「て+形容詞」と、どちらが有り勝ちでしょうか。「て」の方が、聞くことが良くありますが、「たこと」というのは聞いたことないと思います。。。
    – Right leg
    Jul 12, 2017 at 8:10
  • @Chocolate ほんとですね。SVのつもりだったのですが動詞のことしか考えてませんでしたw Jul 12, 2017 at 8:40
  • @Rightleg 回答の通り、二つの表現の間にはニュアンスの差があるので、いつでも交換して使えるわけではありません。よく使われるのは「て」の方だと思います。 Jul 12, 2017 at 8:48

How to express feelings about a performed action?

I am happy to have returned home.
I am sad that I missed the train.
I am upset that I finished the apples.

帰ったことが嬉しい is not wrong, but we don't really say it.

I think what you are looking for is ~してよかった, or ~できてうれしい.
This is the way we say it.

帰れて良かった, literally saying "It's good that I've been able to have come back."

電車に乗り遅れて悲しい。乗れなくて残念。It seems it's always natural to say ~して悲しい, ~してがっかり, ~できなくて残念。

mm.. more realistically, it might be 食べてしまった。悲しい。

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