I'm working through a KOTOKO song and there are these lines

幼{おさな}い頃{ころ} きっと彼{かれ}と出会{であ}ってたと
け散{ち}らすような視線{しせん}だけを 振{ふ}りまいた

出会ってた is something I'm not quite sure how to translate. I struggled to find examples of it online, and the best I have is that it's referring to the whole event of meeting someone, rather than the first couple of seconds where you say "Hi". I'm just not sure why it's that and not 出会った

Adding to the confusion is the と after 出会ってた. I thought と meant more of like when this happens, then something else happens. If I wanted to refer to the time when I met someone, I thought it'd be 出会ったころ

My attempt at a translation:

"When I was young, I bet when I met him I was kind of clumsy and just flashed scattered glances"

Just a confusing verb tense and particle for me. Any help is appreciated!


Actually, if you look around the lyrics:

幼い頃 きっと彼と出会ってたと
け散らすような視線だけを 振りまいた

The second line in question is not grammatically connected to the following lines but the previous one. It is an inverted sentence that the quotative と should qualify the verb 気付く (cf. What does と mean in 「ここにおいで」と?).

幼い頃 きっと彼と出会ってたと ある日気付いたの

Now, 出会ってた is contraction of 出会っていた (What is Vて+た construction?), which is 出会う (verb) + ている (aspect) + た. However, in this case, both ている and た need some explanation.

ている generally denotes continuation, but here not of the event 出会う "meet", but of its resultative state: "have the result of meeting", which practically equals to saying "have already met". See When is Vている the continuation of action and when is it the continuation of state?

た is usually described as past, or more correctly perfect, but also has a usage to depict actualization and/or realization of a fact, which we usually call "た of discovery" (see Non conventional usage of the past tense). In this sense, it can be translated as "It in fact does —!" or "I didn't think it did —!"

幼い頃 きっと彼と出会ってたと ある日気付いたの
One day I realized that I must have (already) met him when I was young.

  • 2
    ...literally I asked another question on this site about a kotoko song with a confusing と and it turned out I just didn't try rearranging the words. And lo and behold I fell for it again... lol Thanks for the detailed answer – OtheJared Feb 10 at 18:43

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