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I have difficulty to understand the expression in the following sentence

"その美少女は、髪と同色の、透き通った水色の瞳をパチパチさせ、状況が摑めず固まったままの俺をじっと見ていた"

It has been translated as:

This beauty stare at me with eyes the same light blue as her hair, blinking at my inability to understand what had happened.

Context: the protagonist wakes up in the after life in front of a beauty who announces that he has just died.

First I do not undestand why it is が not を that was used. I thought it was 状況を摑める

Second I do not undestand 固まったまま. If I look the verb: 固まる 【かたまる】 (v5r,vi) (1), it is translated as: to harden; to solidify; (v5r,vi) (2) to become firm; to become certain; (v5r,vi)

But I do not understand the meaning in the context of the sentence.

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    For the first part of your question note that 摑める is in the potential form so が might be expected. I think I understand the whole sentence but I'm not 100% certain. Is this person supposed to be in shock? – user3856370 Nov 21 '20 at 14:43
  • yes thanks I have updated the context sessions, the person has been told he has just died so yes he is in shock – Makoto Nov 21 '20 at 14:46
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... 状況が摑めず固まったままの俺をじっと見ていた

So, as I mentioned in the comments, the first part 状況が摑めず, uses が because the verb is in potential form. The ず ending means 'without' (there are plenty of questions about that on this site if you're unfamiliar). So the part means "without being able to comprehend the situation".

まま is perhaps my least favourite piece of Japanese grammar (it often confuses me). It roughly means 'leaving something in the same state'. So I think 固まったまま would mean 'remained rigid'.

Putting it all together:

状況が摑めず固まったままの俺をじっと見ていた
She stared at me, who remained rigid and without comprehension about what happened.

That's a really terrible piece of English, so perhaps we can understand why the translator changed it so much.

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  • thanks a lot for the "remained rigid" part – Makoto Nov 21 '20 at 15:09

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