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In Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo's opening, there is this part:

1回めまぐれで

2回めってどうだろう

偶然じゃないよね?3回目が合うのは

I understand it, but one part: the translations I found say "The third time our eyes meet", and I noticed that at least in some written version "1回め" and "2回め" use め, while "3回目" uses 目.

I tried to understand if the 目 in 3回目 is ordinal ("The third time") or "eye" ("The third [time our] eyes"), but I didn't really find anything useful: if it's ordinal, I can't understand the subject of 合う: is it left unsaid, like "The third time [our eyes] met"?

If it's "eye", I'm not sure why 1回め and 2回め has an ordinal marker, while 3回目 doesn't, since they all mean "The nth time".

I'm wondering if it's meant to be a word play, like using 目 as ordinal, but impliying "eyes" since it means that too; no luck in finding info about that, though.

Edit: Without ordinal marker it should be cardinal, but I'm not sure if, maybe as poetic license it being in a song, it could be left out while still having an ordinal meaning.

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  • 1
    If no ordinal suffix, it'll be a cardinal number, right? – broken laptop Jan 27 at 9:33
  • Yes, but I'm not sure if, maybe as poetic license it being in a song, it could be left out; thanks for pointing it out, I'll add it to the question. – Mauro Jan 27 at 9:39
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The lyrics are arguably wordplay-like, in that they try to invite listeners into a garden path sentence. But the only way eventually parses meaningfully is 3回 "three times" + 目が合う "eyes meet". This 目 cannot be a suffix and a noun at the same time.

By the way, lyrics I found in Japanese sites all seem to have spaces in between, which suggest the official way of parsing.

1回め まぐれで
2回め ってどうだろう
偶然じゃあないよね? 3回 目が合うのは

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