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I"m trying to translate the following sentence into English for a assignment in my translation workshop class.

僕は身体を起こし, あらためて彼女に視線を持っていった.

The bolded part has me confused due to the strange shi ending; which I first read as the shi clause with the term 起こす, but realized this was incorrect due to the predicate (起こ) not being in the plain/short form. Jisho.org says that 起こし is a suffix, which I believe to be incorrect in this instance as there is a を particle behind the 起こし.

Thus, what does 起こし mean in the above sentence, and how do you know this?

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It's a conjugation formed by taking a verb in ます form, then removing the ます.

Example conjugation:

  • 起こす:起こします=起こし
  • 生まれる:生まれます=生まれ

Combining sentences with that conjugation basically means "and". It's similar to combining sentences with て, though there are differences in usage.

Example sentence:

ジョンは日本で生まれ、十歳まで日本の学校で勉強した。

John was born in Japan and studied at a Japanese school until he was ten.

I recommend page 556 of "A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar" as a reference for the details of this grammar form.

...

To answer your question directly:

Thus, what does 起こし mean in the above sentence, and how do you know this?

It's just a continuative conjugation of the verb 起こす, which means "to raise", and that verb is being applied to 身体. I know this because that's the dictionary definition. The fact that it ends in し、 just means "and..." before talking about the rest of the sentence.

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