I'm having some difficulties understanding the construction 崩れかけた in


I couldn't find it as a single word, so I take it is constructed from 崩れる and かける. My guess is that it's the stem form of 崩れる joined with かける (equivalent to the て form to join to verbs), but I'm not sure.

崩れる means something like collapsed so I was thinking it referred to a collapsed gate. I don't know what かける adds to this though...

Can someone shine some light on this?


かける can be used as an subsidiary verb to mean "start to [verb]", so 崩れかけた is indeed the 連用形 ren'yōkei (masu-stem) of 崩れる followed by かけた.

崩れかけた門 means "a gate, which has started to break down / deteriorate". Of course you would usually translate this more directly, maybe (for lack of a better word) "deteriorating / wrecked gate".

See for example

  • Thank you, didn't know about this at all. I'm a bit surprised it doesn't appear in either "A Dictionary of Basic/Intermidiate Japanese Grammar" though.
    – Jak
    Jul 17 '20 at 0:39
  • 3
    @Jak I couldn't seem to find it in the "A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar" books either. However I sometimes like to check this Wikipedia page which does have it: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_grammar#Auxiliary_verbs Jul 17 '20 at 15:56
  • 3
    It appears in Jim Breen's EDICT, which is the basis of pretty much every online J->E dictionary out there. I was doing subtitles for a concert video more than three years ago. 壊れかけた現実 came up in a song and I found in the above that it must be "reality that's on the verge of breaking" or "started to break". I have all three of those grammar books:--basic, intermediate, advanced--but didn't need them for this.
    – Kaz
    Jul 17 '20 at 16:11
  • 1
    Added comment: This <verb stem> + かける pattern is very common in both modern spoken and written Japanese. Worth understanding. Jul 21 '20 at 19:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.