I have seen this sentence a few times. Usually I see it in commercials, video games, TV shows, and the like.

In fact, this article shows that the sentence has a few variations, as well as many different examples that use it. It even has a concise explanation of the sentence, and it says, “Someone is recruited for one cause, but the group's real cause and/or actions make them rethink the deal.”

I know that “this” would probably be translated as これは in this case. I assume that “I” could simply be omitted in the translation. The part “is not”? I get the feeling that could be translated as ありません. I guess the part that really has me stumped is “what for”. That part isn't being used as a question, I know that much.

I would really appreciate some help on this.


Thank you for your comment. You're right, I should have considered looking at verbs corresponding to “sign up for”. So, here goes: for “sign up for”, the options according to Weblio are 申し込む, 契約する, 登録する, 加入する, サインアップする, and maybe a few others. I guess the verb choice depends on if I signed up for classes, clubs and so on.

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    Have you thought about what verb might correspond to “sign up for”? I don’t see the phrase “what for” in the question. – mamster Apr 29 '18 at 17:50
  • Some very basic suggestions: 「これは約束と違うじゃないか」(when there is someone to blame), or 「こうなるつもりではなかった」(when you have nobody to blame, except maybe yourself) – Will Apr 30 '18 at 15:05
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    @Will: That makes sense. The numerous examples that use “This is not what I signed up for” have many different situations. Some of them has at least one person at fault, while others have nobody at fault. – Micheal Gignac Apr 30 '18 at 16:30
  • Depending on the context, something like 話と違う could work. – Kurausukun Apr 30 '18 at 22:30

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