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I am having difficulty understanding this sentence. A comparison is being made to the effect that as the cruel feeling flowed out I washed the sea water out of the pants. But I am not sure about this. I understand that the だけ is the equivalent of ほど. But the sentence remains unclear to me.

そうすればしただけ、リエを泣かせた昼間の残酷な気持ちが流れ出ていくかのように、私はできるだけ丁寧に海水パンツを洗った.

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This ~ば~だけ is almost the same as the ~ば~ほど construction meaning "the more ~(, the more ~)".

This そうすれば and した refer to something mentioned in the latter half of the sentence, namely 丁寧に海水パンツを洗う. 海水パンツ (commonly abbreviated as 海パン) is a single phrase meaning swim shorts.

そうすればしただけ、リエを泣かせた昼間の残酷な気持ちが流れ出ていくかのように、私はできるだけ丁寧に海水パンツを洗った。
I washed my swim shorts as carefully as possible, thinking the more I washed it, the more my cruel feelings during the day that had made Rie cry would flow out of it.

  • Thank you very much for your help. I was wondering whether you think another possible translation of this sentence might be: "By washing the swim shorts as carefully as possible, I thought the cruel feeling .... would flow out of them" I ask this because the Jisho dictionary gives a secondary translation of だけ as "as“ (e.g. as soon as, as much as"? Or would this distort the meaning? Thank you again. – Robert Feb 25 at 15:07
  • @Robert Yes I think that's a fine translation, if not the most literal. – naruto Feb 26 at 3:03

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