Can someone explain to me what あてがない means? I saw "私はどこにも行くあてがないの".

2 Answers 2


Thank you for the context. Apparently 行くあて is 行く当て and means “somewhere to go”.

So the sentence can be translated as “I don’t have any place to go”.

当て in general can mean “purpose, goal, aim” etc. See also the verb 当てる (hit, strike; hit the mark, guess right etc. )

  • What does あてがない translate to?
    – Pacifica
    Jul 28, 2018 at 8:10
  • I heard この薬を飲むあてがない didn’t work...
    – Pacifica
    Jul 28, 2018 at 8:11
  • I don’t think あてがない should be translated on its own but ‘飲むあてがない’ could probably be interpreted as “drinking (it) does not hit the mark”, i.e. has no effect, or possibly “no purpose”. Jul 28, 2018 at 8:32
  • @IgorSkochinsky That doesn't make sense, but if I nevertheless interpret it, it sounds like there's no expectation for his drinking, i.e. he's not likely to take medicine.
    – user4092
    Jul 28, 2018 at 16:01
  • well, I don’t have your full context so I could only guess. If you really want to know, make a new question and provide all relevant info Jul 28, 2018 at 21:23

According to dictionaries, 当て has several different meanings:

  1. aim; object; purpose
    • 当てもなく歩く to wander aimlessly
  2. expectations; prospects; hopes​
    • 返済の当てがつく to get a means for repayment
    • 当てがはずれる to be contrary to one's expectation
  3. something that can be relied upon​
    • 親を当てにする to rely on one's parents (esp. financially)
    • 酔っぱらいの約束は当てにならない。 A promise of a drunkard cannot be relied upon.

(English definition taken from jisho.org, examples taken from 明鏡国語辞典)

None of them fits your case perfectly, but the last two definitions are relevant. In your case, 当て means something like "a possible approach that have come to one's mind" or "someone/something that may help you".

  • 何か当てはありますか? Do you have any idea (to resolve this problem)?
  • 俺に当てがある。 I have an idea. / I have someone in mind who may help us.

So 私はどこにも行く当てがないの roughly means "(I am helpless and) I don't have any idea where I should go."

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