In Someday / いつか, Tatsurō Yamashita sings:


I don't understand the meaning of the last two lines.

顔を曇らせ looks like an imperative. But I doubt the lyric means: “So, assume a gloomy face forever!!” — the rest of song sounds more hopeful than that.

Does つらい日を送る事はない mean, “it's nothing worth having a bad day over”? Maybe 顔を曇らせ has some kind of continuative function, and I should interpret these two lines as one. If there were a て joining them, I wouldn't be confused.

It makes more sense to me for the lyric to mean: “I won't assume a gloomy face forever”. But I don't know how to get there from the grammar.

  • I think l'électeur's answer here will probably clear things up for you: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/70321/… Also see naruto's answer here: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/65936/… and seafood 258's answer here: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/23789/… – Nanigashi Oct 2 '20 at 16:20
  • Just to clarify: Yes, 顔を曇らせ does have a continuative function, and in this case it is equivalent to 顔を曇らせて. In fact, 曇らせ is what is sometimes called the continuative form of 曇らせる (in Japanese it's called the 連用形{れんようけい}). If you aren't familar with this usage of the continuative form without 〜て, you should read those answers I linked to above. It's very common! – Nanigashi Oct 2 '20 at 17:45
  • @Nanigashi Oh! I have seen that usage once or twice — my problem is I was thinking that the verb being conjugated here is 曇らす (conjugated in the meireikei) whereas it's actually 曇らせる (conjugated in the ren'youkei). Thanks for the links. Feel free to post them as an answer. – Lynn Oct 2 '20 at 20:16
  • Lynn, I'm glad I could help. I think this question will probably be closed as a duplicate, which is why I posted in a comment instead of answering. – Nanigashi Oct 2 '20 at 20:43

I guess a simple way to interpret it is だからいつまでも顔を曇らせ(れば)、つらい日を送ることはない, “so (if) you frown all the time, you won’t send away bitter days”?

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