1

The following excerpt is taken from a conversation with my language partner:

「てform の使{つか}い方{かた}」* を読{よ}みました。このように書{か}いてあると、難{むずか}しく感{かん}じますね。
私{わたし}たちが「てform」を使うとき、「この動詞{どうし}は意志{いし}を表{あらわ}すから」などとは考{かんが}えません。
子{こ}どもの頃{ころ}から使っていくうちに、身{み}についてきたものだからです。でも、日本語学習者{にほんごがくしゅうしゃ}にとっては、分類{ぶんるい}してある方が、わかりやすいのでしょう。

The sentence in question:

子どもの頃から使っていくうちに、身についてきたものだからです。

My attempt at translation:

"From when one is a child, ..."

I must admit that I really can't make any sense of this sentence. I guess that she's trying to tell me that they are using it from childhood on and that "it just comes by itself" (the proper use of て-form), but I don't know. I can't even tell the morphemes apart; is it "いくうちに" or "いく + うちに"?

And what about 身について? Is it 身 + について?

Maybe

身についてきたものだからです => "regarding oneself, because it is a thing that came."
or "because it is a thing which came to oneself."

where I regard について as に+ついて, with ついて being て-form of 着く. I always feel a bit uncertain about my understanding of this.

As I use it, it often resembles the use of は as a topic marker, translated to "Concerning X". But from a grammatical perspective I think that the two are quite different.

*(see here for the article she is referring to https://www.learn-japanese-adventure.com/te-form-cause-reason.html )

2

From Jisho.org. Second definition of うち reads:

  1. while​

Usually written using kana alone, See also ないうちに, also 裡

あの[少年]{しょうねん}は[店]{みせ}から店を[歩]{ある}いているうちに[盗]{ぬす}み[癖]{ぐせ}がでてしまった。
The young boy got sticky fingers when he walked into stores.

First definition of 身につく is:

  1. to master (e.g. a skill); to become accustomed to (e.g. a lifestyle); to acquire (e.g. a habit)​.

This also uses the 〜ていく grammatical form.

My rough translation for the passage in question would be (feel free to correct me):

The て form is something we master after using it again and again from childhood.

The other things to be mindful of are the 〜てくる and ~ものだから grammatical points.

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.