I came across the following example sentence and translation in a dictionary:

母の喜びようったら大変なものだった。 Mama was too pleased for words.

I don't understand how that meaning arises, especially with "喜びようったら大変なもの".

I suspect it might have something to do with ったらない being used to intensify the degree or extant of something, but here the ない is replaced with 大変? Really unsure.

EDIT: After some thought, can I break it down as:

  1. 母の喜びよう mother's way of being glad
  2. ...ったら as for ...
  3. 大変なものだった was great/immense

Still unsure if this is the correct parsing.

  • 3
    You've answered your own question :)
    – naruto
    Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 16:57
  • If my edit is correct, then great! Thanks!
    – hikobae_
    Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 17:01

1 Answer 1


Yes, 母の喜びよう is a noun phrase, "Mother's way of being glad". ったら after a noun is an emphatic topic marker used with an surprised or accusatory overtone. Sometimes the following predicate is omitted. といったら is similar, but it is more literary and does not have an accusatory nuance.

  • 山頂から見た景色の美しさったら、言葉にできないほどだった。
    The beauty of the view from the mountain top! It was beyond words.
  • もう、太郎ったら、また!
    Oh, Taro, he did it again!
  • お母さんの驚いた顔といったら!
    You should have seen Mom's surprised face!

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