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I’ve stumbled upon the phrase 勝ったな and it was translated there as “he will win” but what conjugation is that?

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勝った is the -ta form of 勝つ, and normally indicates past-tense, but in this case it actually is indicating the perfect.

A literal translation would be something like “(With this) he has won.” — that is, as a reaction to something that has happened.

The な is the standard masculine sentence-ending particle, which adds a sense of confidence in one’s statement (though also as a result indicates the statement is about something unsure).

Of course a literal translation here is not what you would say in English, but hopefully it helps you understand the grammar!

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That is not a bad translation at all. In fact, that is what the phrase means most of the time.

「勝{か}ったな」, even though it may take the past tense grammatically, is usually said before the game/match, etc. is over rather than after.

It is said when it looks as though it is almost certain that you or your team will be the winner. That is to say that the game/match, etc. is close to the end and you are ahead by a good margin. We say 「勝ったな」 in that kind of situation. Emotions overriding grammar, if you will.

Needless to say, you know there is mathematically still a chance that you might actually lose in the end, but that does not affect the phrase choice, or tense choice of 「勝ったな」.

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  • I think there is a non-emotional, grammatical (or lexical) phenomenon somewhere in here though, since even 「これ、勝った?」 and 「この試合はもうとっくに勝ったよ」 etc work fine IMO. Perhaps it’s that 勝つ in Japanese can also just mean “put it in the bag” “seal it” etc (i.e., make a winning move) as oppose to only officially win at the end of the match... – Darius Jahandarie Jan 12 '20 at 3:57
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    ^Darius,「これ、勝った?」「とっくに勝ったよ」というふうには言わないと思うんですが… 「勝ちが決まったようなものだ」「もう勝ったも同然だ」とか「この分なら絶対勝つ」みたいな気持ちで「勝ったな。」「勝ちだな。」とか言います。サバイバルゲームで勝ち目がなくなったら、まだ死んでなくても「死んだな。」って言ったり、試験で問題見た瞬間に「落ちたわ。」って言ったりするのと似ているような気がします。 – Chocolate Jan 12 '20 at 4:47
  • えーと、意味はわかっているつもりでいますが、「勝ったな」と言うような、勝ちを断言してるような状況以外にもこの「勝った」の使用は可能だと言いたかったです。例えば、点が入って勝ちがほぼ決まった雰囲気にはなったけど、ゲームのルールがよくわからないとか、もっと詳しい人に「これ…勝った、よな⁈」とちょっとワクワクな気持ちで問いかけて「勝ったな」が返ってくるのは私には自然に感じましたが、違いますか?また、「これ勝ったな」に対して「とっくに勝ったよ」と言うようなやりとりも想像ができます。文法に基づいた現象だというのを論じるためにあえて考え出した使い方なのでほとんど使われないと思いますが、一応意味は通じるかと… – Darius Jahandarie Jan 12 '20 at 6:30
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It's past tense of 勝つ, 'won'. Idk why the translation is in future tense.

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