9

I am reading 海街 Diary, and I have come across this dialogue:

朝ゴハン一緒できなくなっちゃって。

I know it means "We can't have breakfast together".

I understand (vaguely) the meaning of なっちゃって, i.e. it indicates one having to do something unwillingly.

I understand that 一緒で means together.

I don't understand what that きなく is doing in the middle.

9

朝ゴハン一緒できなくなっちゃって。

This looks pretty informal. The で you are seeing is not a particle, but the start of the verb できる.

できる (to be able to do) -> できない (to be unable to do). The next verb is なる (to become) so we need to change the previous part to できなく to give できなくなる (become unable to do).

Then we have なる -> なっちゃって. This is a contraction of なってしまって. The verb しまう adds a sense of regret. Ending with て kind of softens the sentence. There's an implied ending e.g. "..and I'm really sorry about it". So putting it all together we get.

Unfortunately, we can't have breakfast together any more.

  • Thanks for the great answer. One question: "The next verb is なる (to become) so we need to change the previous part to できなく to give できなくなる (become unable to do)". In which textbook or grammar book can I find a description of this sort of construction? – user11527 Nov 18 '18 at 8:25
  • I don't know a book, but the general rule for なる is that with i-adjectives you replace い with く (ない behaves like an i-adjective), for nouns you add に and for na-adjectives you replace な with に. – user3856370 Nov 18 '18 at 9:03
  • Te general rule can be thought of as "turn the thing before なる into an adverb". – Adrià Rico Blanes Nov 21 '18 at 12:40

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