this is my first question and I want to thank in advance all the people willing to help. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

Context: I am translating a song, and 道の先に (at the road's end), when I try to translate word by word, saki ni(先に) means "Ahead of". Saki by itself (先) is translated as "First".

My Question: What is the reason that a word meaning "First" becomes "End" when used as a an adverb after a no(の) particle.

Is this one of those cases when "It just is" or is there a reason which is important to understand?

Thank you very much, and I apologize if my question was silly.


2 Answers 2


先 (saki) can also mean "destination" (行き先), "tip" 矢先, "front", 先に "before" or "ahead".

Think of it as "ahead" or things that are in front of you, then the "end" of an arrow can also be seen as the tip. As in English where you can say "the wrong end" of a thing, which could also mean its tip or its butt depending on which angle you're looking at it. So if it refers to something you do first, you do it ahead of other things. If it refers to the "end" of something it also refers to something that lies ahead.

  • Thank you... After more reading, this answer actually now makes a lot of sense. Thank you so much! May 11, 2020 at 22:33

As for the meaning of 'ahead':. The destination of an object or action: the destination It has the meaning of It's not the grammar, it's the meaning of the words.



という意味があります。 文法ではなく言葉の意味です。

  • この英文ってDeepLで生成したものですか?機械翻訳を使うと意味の通らない文章になるのでご遠慮ください。なお回答は日本語でも結構です Apr 24, 2020 at 4:54
  • アドバイス有難うございます。ご指摘の通りDeepLを使っています。翻訳精度が充分でない事も理解しており、日本語も併記しています。 ただ機械翻訳を使わないとなると回答は消極的にならざるを得ません。 Apr 24, 2020 at 5:09
  • 日本語話者の参加がないとサイトとして成り立たないので、回答は日本語で大丈夫です。このサイトには他にも多くのユーザーがいるので、英語に直してほしい時はその旨記していただければ助かります。 Apr 24, 2020 at 5:25

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