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I am having several problems understanding this sentence:

「都合の悪いところは破っておいた日記と一緒に持ち帰った、小型デストロイヤーの足を見て判断したそうだ。」

First of all と一緒に持ち帰った、, especially the "、" confuses in the sense of the scope of と一緒に. Does the scope include only 日記 or 小型デストロイヤー as well? I know that punctuation is somewhat variable and not as crucial for the meaning of a sentence but I just want to know how to interpret such "breaks" in the future.

I am not sure whether my understanding of 「都合の悪いところは」 is correct. I've read a different post, where 「は 」 as particle was described as often being used to mark some kind of "contrast", especially in regard to what was said earlier.

The preceding clause 「依頼もなく賞金首でもなかったというのに袋は結構な重さがある。」 makes it sound to me that 「は」in the second clause is used in mentioned "contrasting" meaning. (Hinting at the contrast of convenient and inconvenient)

However, my next problem is that I don't understand what 「見て判断したそう」だ is supposed to mean. I found 「見て判断する」 used as definition for 「見受ける」 (https://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/jn/210824/meaning/m0u/);however,I still cannot decipher the meaning of this phrase. I interpreted this 「そう」as the "hearsay-version" as it stands after the "full-verb-form".

Especially the interpretation of the last verphrase is troublesome for me and I think if somebody could point out what exactly 「見て判断したそう」 means I might be able to get the whole sentence.

TLDR: What is the meaning of this sentence「都合の悪いところは破っておいた日記と一緒に持ち帰った、小型デストロイヤーの足を見て判断したそうだ。」// Can the 「は」particle be understood as "contrasting" in above stated context?

Thank you in advance!

The whole passage:

「ルナが満面の笑みを浮かべて資金の詰まった袋を手渡す。 依頼もなく賞金首でもなかったというのに袋は結構な重さがある。 都合の悪いところは破っておいた日記と一緒に持ち帰った、小型デストロイヤーの足を見て判断したそうだ。これだけあれば人数で割っても十分金が手元に残る。」

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    We need the context. – Yuuichi Tam Oct 19 at 20:35
  • It is from a Konosuba- Spinnoff novel and the group just cleared a "non-listed" quest and got payed for it. As mentioned, the preceding clause has a rather positive meaning and is the followed by 「都合の悪いところは 」which stands in contrast to aforementioned positivity. However, I don't get the conclusion of what is said next, as it does sound contrasting to me... – Himula Oct 19 at 20:43
  • To extent the context further: The group prevented the 小型デストロイヤー from getting into town, without an official quest for it, nevertheless they get paid. In the process they ripped off several legs of the 小型デストロイヤー (小型デストロイヤーの足). Besides that the inventor of that machine wrote in his 日記 about the process of developing that thing. – Himula Oct 19 at 20:48
  • Can you add sentences after and before the sentence. – Yuuichi Tam Oct 19 at 20:56
  • I added the whole paragraph if that helps... – Himula Oct 19 at 21:01
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+50

[都合の悪いところは破っておいた日記と一緒に持ち帰った]、小型デストロイヤーの足を見て判断したそうだ。

The "、" clearly shows that the whole 「都合の悪いところは破っておいた日記と一緒に持ち帰った」 is a long relative clause that modifies 小型デストロイヤーの足.

"... the destroyer's foot, [which I brought back (from the quest) together with the journal...]"

Without the 「、」:

都合の悪いところは破っておいた日記と一緒に持ち帰った小型デストロイヤーの足を見て判断したそうだ。

It can be ambiguous; it could be interpreted as:

[都合の悪いところは破っておいた]日記と(、)[一緒に持ち帰った]小型デストロイヤーの足を見て判断したそうだ。

... with a relative clause 都合の悪いところは破っておいた modifying 日記, and another relative clause 一緒に持ち帰った modifying 小型デストロイヤーの足.

"... the journal [with unfavorable part torn off], and the destroyer's foot [which I brought back together with it]"

So, the former means she(=Luna) judged from 足, while the latter can mean she judged from both 日記 and 足.


I am not sure whether my understanding of 「都合の悪いところは」 is correct.

都合の悪いところ破っておいた日記 would also be fine here. You're right that the は is a contrastive particle; it's like "As for the unfavorable part, I've torn it off / it's gone (and as for the favorable part, it's still there)". Using は here adds a nuance "unfavorable pages have been torn off, so it's alright to show the journal to her."


However, my next problem is that I don't understand what 「見て判断したそう」だ is supposed to mean. [...] I interpreted this 「そう」 as the "hearsay-version" as it stands after the "full-verb-form".

You're right that the そう indicates hearsay. You can interpret 見て判断する as 見て+判断する, "see" + "judge".

足を見て(報酬額を)判断したそうだ。
"She says / I was told that she saw the foot and decided (the amount of my reward)." /
"She says / I was told that she judged (the amount of my reward) by seeing the foot."

  • Thank you very much for your detailed answer! Is there any reliable source where I can read more on punctuation? A lot of sources just say that it is "fairly liberal" or works "kind of like English". As you said in your answer that 「、」 "clearly" marks the use of a long relative clause I suspect that there are indeed some rules to help the reader with the disambiguation of sentences. In any case thanks again! – Himula Oct 24 at 17:55
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    そうですね… You can probably find some relevant pages by googling "[読点]{とうてん}の打ち方" eg difference b/w 「北島さんと、友達の姫川さんがついに走り始めた。」vs「北島さんと友達の姫川さんが、ついに走り始めた。」(1)…「あわてて逃げる泥棒を、追いかけた」vs「あわてて、逃げる泥棒を追いかけた」(2)… 「その女性はうっすら涙を浮かべてつらそうに、咳き込む赤ん坊を見つめていた。」vs「その女性はうっすら涙を浮かべて、つらそうに咳き込む赤ん坊を見つめていた。」vs「その女性は、うっすら涙を浮かべてつらそうに咳き込む赤ん坊を見つめていた。」(3)… or「彼は暖炉に火を入れながら、黙っている私に話しかけた。」vs「彼は、暖炉に火を入れながら黙っている私に話かけた。」(4)etc? I couldn't find the same sentence structure but 参考になりますかね… – Chocolate Oct 25 at 14:47
  • Thank you very much for all of your efforts the examples have been of great use for me! – Himula Oct 25 at 19:59
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都合の悪いところは破っておいた日記: a diary with undesirable parts trimmed

と 一緒に持ち帰った…足: legs that she took home together with (the diary)

足を見て判断したそうだ: She said that she judged it from legs

All in all, "She said that she judged it (how much the reward should be?) from legs of the mini-destroyers she took home together with the diary with undesirable parts trimmed".

  • Thank you very much for splitting it of in that manner it is much clearer to me now; nevertheless, I want to ask what to do about the comma after 持ち帰った. Can it be more or less ignored in its entirety? – Himula Oct 23 at 12:38
  • I'm not sure what you mean. It doesn't change anything whether you ignore it or not. – user4092 Oct 24 at 9:35
  • Rereading my question made me realize how nonsensical it actually was. I’m sorry about that. All in all I think that I am just incredibly unsure about how punctuation works Japanese. I catch myself trying to interpret punctuation in the same way as in my native language. Do you know any reliable sources for reading on the use of punctuation? – Himula Oct 25 at 9:00

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