I was trying to translate a song (full lyrics here: https://www5.atwiki.jp/hmiku/sp/pages/39203.html) and this one line confused me, primarily because of its lack of main verb.

過行く時の中 握る手が解けた

立ち止まった君の眼差し 歪んだトキ 走る鼓動

In the midst of the ticking time, our grasped hands came apart,

The gaze of you, who stopped; in that warped time, was my racing heart

I’m okay with the first line (just included for context) but, unless I’m missing something, the second line is missing a main verb, and this is making it hard for me to put together. To me, it makes sense that her gaze might make his heart race, or perhaps distort time, but there’s no indication that anything acts on each other, so I’m not sure if I should connect the parts of the line, for a more natural sound, or leave them disjoint? Or am I just missing something completely, and one of the verbs is supposed to be the main verb of the sentence?

Any help would be appreciated!


2 Answers 2


You should not try to "put together". This is a common rhetoric device called 体言止め. Each noun phrase in the line in question is placed in parallel, and forms an independent "sentence" (although some people hate to call it a sentence). You should not try to find a direct connection with one another.

The lyrics have many similar expressions: 崩れていく城を駆け抜け握った手に逸る心 / 描いた夢の結末 / 近づく時刻 / 立ち止まった君の眼差し / 歪んだトキ / 走る鼓動 / 過ぎた秒針 / 変わりゆく景色 / 覗く現実 / 少しの喜び / 芽生えた苦しみ / 何も知らないままでいられたあの日々

Many Japanese songs are like this, and this song is no exception. There is no single way to translate 体言止め. You can translate it as a noun (like "distorted time"), but you may choose to rephrase it as if it were an ordinary sentence (like "time has distorted"), especially when there is a long relative clause. Please read my previous answer.

BTW, putting translations aside, you need to correctly interpret what's going on in this song. Obviously, the motif of this song is Cinderella trying to leave the ball before midnight, so here are what these three nouns represent:

  • 立ち止まった君の眼差し: You are not trying to run after me, but you're seeing me
  • 歪んだトキ: The spell is about to be over
  • 走る鼓動: I'm running away from the ball, and I can feel my heartbeat
  • Wow, thanks so much, this will really help in translating the song. I noticed you mentioned 描いた夢の結末 - I had that connected to another line, 悲しみに 散っていく 描いた夢の結末 altogether as "The end of the dream we dreamt up, that cleared away our sadness." Should all of that be separate - "Clearing away our sadness, the dream we dreamt up ends...”?
    – Smoothie
    Apr 23, 2019 at 14:03
  • @Smoothie It's (ドレスも喜びも)悲しみに散っていく, which means something like "Everything (including my dress and my happiness) is disappearing with sadness". This に is not a subject marker nor an object marker. 描いた夢 is her own dream, not "our" dream. 描いた夢の結末 is "(So this is) the (sad) outcome of my dream." You know the story of Cinderella, right?
    – naruto
    Apr 23, 2019 at 21:32
  • @Smoothie I know you have tackled many super-vague vocalo song lyrics, but I would say this song is relatively straightforward. It's a song of a poor girl who had to run away from the dance party. After the party, her innocent dream end up with causing more sorrow and regret than happiness.
    – naruto
    Apr 23, 2019 at 22:01

The second line doesn't have any verb as a sentence. They are three noun phrases. Of course, though there are a verb in each noun phrase. The way like that is sometimes seen in poems or lyrics. For example, when a writer describes a beautiful girl who is playing tennis, he can describe her like ひかる汗 真剣な眼差し 躍動する体.

So the second line means 立ち止まった君の眼差し(Your look when you stop running), 歪んだトキ(Warped time), 走る鼓動(A quickly beating heart).

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