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Since ヒヤヒヤする is a verb, that I haven't really been able to find in dictionaries with English meaning. It seems to mean roughly to be nervious/anxious/afraid of something.

But that is kinda messing me up on getting the proper meaning of the following sentence.

当てちゃうかと思って、ヒヤヒヤしました。

Context is that two people have been sparing. And this is what one participant is saying to another.

I think the speaker is saying they were afraid anxious that they might hit the other side too hard.

At least that's how I interpret てちゃうか.

Although it could also be more that she was nervous because she was thinking all the time thinking "Did I hit him "fully" or unfortunately".

As of right now the provisional translation is:

I was afraid, thinking that I could hit you for real.

Which I don't think is exactly right.

So yeah, this is rambly way of asking what would be the proper translating of the above phrase and how てちゃうか and ヒヤヒヤしました work here.

  • 当てちゃう is one word, the てしまう=ちゃう form of 当てる. – Earthliŋ Dec 20 '17 at 23:02
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「当{あ}てちゃうかと思{おも}って、ヒヤヒヤしました。」

First of all,

「当てちゃう」 is a colloquial way of saying 「当ててしまう」 = "to hit unintentionally", "to end up hitting unintentionally/accidentally", etc.

「当てちゃうかと思って」≒「当てちゃうかもしれないと思って」 = "thinking that I might hit him (too hard) unintentionally/accidentally"

Next, 「ヒヤヒヤする」.

It means "to be nervous", "to be in fear", "to be on pins and needles", etc. Needless to say, it is in the famous 「onomatopoeia + する」 verb pattern. You will keep encountering these for as long as you study Japanese.

Putting everything together, you should have something like:

"I was (really) nervous, thinking that I might hit him (too hard) unintentionally."

  • Great answer, as always, it is very clear what you are discussing. This answer would be even better if you were to note the difference between ヒラヒラ and ヒラヒラする, as it seems that the OP is asking about this relationship. You say that it's the common Onomatopeia + する verb pattern, but don't explain what it does. – ajsmart Dec 21 '17 at 0:44
  • I've heard かと for years and always just assumed it was plain question か + quotative と. So the か in かと is actually short for かもしれない? As for the onomatopeia and する pattern, する just makes an adverb into a verb. Onomatopeia are adverbs usually, but can be na-adjectives too. – Fireheart251 Dec 21 '17 at 1:51
  • This is a great answer. Although I like Fireheart am surprised at the かもしれない bit. It does fit, but it does also seem like a hell of shortening. Also I was aware of ちゃう=てしまう but I was not aware of the intentionally/accidentally meaning. I was only aware that it indicated something was done completely or that something is regrettable. But it also fits. And yeah, I wanted some actual translations of the verb version, although I did figure it's just another case of noun/adjective and such being turned into verb by する. So great answer, – 4th Dimension Dec 21 '17 at 16:19

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