Taken from question 4 and 5 of this URL: https://japanesetest4you.com/japanese-language-proficiency-test-jlpt-n1-listening-exercise-5/

QUESTION 4: The audio starts with: あ~ぁ、やってらんないよなあ。 I usually feel pretty confident with spoken Japanese contractions, but I can't make heads or tails of what this statement is. What is "やってらんない" short for?


The statement and three possible responses are:


1 うん、食べた気がしないね。

2 ひとり分で十分だったよね。

3 本当、食べきれないよ。

The correct answer is 1, although I'm confused why 2 wouldn't be the better answer.

My translations are: This meal wouldn't be enough for two people. 1: Yeah, but I'm not feeling hungry. 2: It was plenty for one. 3: I really can't eat it all.

What am I missing here?

1 Answer 1



やってらんない is short for やっていられない. やっていられない becomes やってられない, which becomes やってらんない (re-to-n). But since this is a colloquial and slangy expression, we see this almost always in the contracted form. Variations include やってられるか, やってられっか, やってられん, やってらんねー, etc. It's a set phrase meaning "I can't stand it anymore", "I've had enough", "I'm so tired of this", etc.


The options actually mean:

1: Yeah, I don't feel like I ate anything.
2: (Ordering just) one serving/dish would've been enough.
3: I really can't eat it all.

So 2 and 3 mean they ordered too much. Here 1人分 ("one person's worth/portion") is the same as 1人前 ("one serving (of food)"). "It was plenty for one" would be something like 1人なら十分だったけどね.

  • 「人分なら十分だったけどね.」wouldn't this be better translated as "It would be enough for one person, though" when following the previous line?
    – user26484
    Sep 12, 2019 at 21:59
  • @user26484 My mistake, I should not have included 分.
    – naruto
    Sep 12, 2019 at 22:01
  • Oh, I didn't even catch that; I was more curious on changing the よね, けどね portion. My understanding was that the second answer would've been correct if it had けどね instead (not よね).
    – user26484
    Sep 12, 2019 at 22:09
  • 1
    @user26484 1人分なら十分だった or 1人分で十分だった means "ordering one serving would've been enough" and 1人なら十分だった means "It would've been enough if I were alone". Here they are saying 物足りない even though they ordered two servings, so only the latter fits the context. けどね is optional.
    – naruto
    Sep 12, 2019 at 22:15
  • I somehow thought of it as "if it was a portion for one person [if it was for one person]." I didn't read your correction carefully and didn't notice that 分 was removed. Oops ><
    – user26484
    Sep 12, 2019 at 22:23

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