I’m struggling to understand all the parts in this sentence and why each of them are there.


I know what it means in English, but this is really hard to understand as a beginner. The tatta is referring to the years, but is put behind it? I’m mystified by the koto desu as well.

English: Then, two or three years later, there came a day when (something happened).

Thanks for any help!

  • I don't understand your question -- what do you mean "[たった] is put behind [the years]"? Also, please include in your post, what do you think this sentence means? Feb 2, 2021 at 20:21
  • It’s put behind the years. Usually it is put in front of things where it says “not more than..”.
    – buddhabrot
    Feb 2, 2021 at 20:24
  • By "behind" then, you mean "after"? Feb 2, 2021 at 20:25
  • Be aware that there are two kinds of たった -- one is a shift from ただ ("only, just"), and the other is the past tense of たつ. The first one comes before a noun to modify, and the second comes after its subject because that's normal grammar. Feb 2, 2021 at 20:27
  • Affirmative, after
    – buddhabrot
    Feb 2, 2021 at 20:27

1 Answer 1


This たった is the past tense of the verb たつ meaning "to pass (time)". So, 二、三年たった is a relative clause modifying ある日 (one day / a certain day). Putting the two parts together we get

one day when two or three years had passed

For an explanation of what こと is doing see my rather sketchy attempt to explain it here. If that doesn't help then leave a comment and maybe someone can do a better job.

Altogether I'd translate it as:

It was one day two or three years after that.

I'd expect the next part to explain what happened on this day. Maybe you can translate こと as "event" here, i.e. "it was an event that happened one day ..." but that's a rather clunky translation.

  • 1
    Thanks, this is very helpful. I will not be able to improve your insights on koto until I have studied more. Your link is broken though!
    – buddhabrot
    Feb 2, 2021 at 20:32
  • Yes, I fixed your typos but your link is broken in a bad way that I can't even guess how to recover. Feb 3, 2021 at 5:35
  • Sorry about the broken link. Fixed now, though I doubt it will help much. Feb 3, 2021 at 10:02

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