I am nearing the end of the first chapter of Kaori Ekuni's Twinkle Twinkle. However, I failed to parse the following sentence in bold (the rest of the passage is provided below for context):

気にいった? もちろん、とこたえた瞬間に、私はとんでもないことを思い出した。クリスマスだというのに、私は睦月に何も買っていないのだ。プレゼントのことなんて、考えてもみなかった。







My understanding so far is as follows: the narrator feels guilty for always receiving presents from her husband. So she lies to him about gifting him a telescope at the end of the year.

From the response of her husband, and my understanding of the words 物事 (things) and 疑う (to doubt), the sentence in bold seems to be a comment on her husband's simple-mindedness or lack of suspicion. I cannot however understand how かけら and たち contribute to the sentence (assuming I parsed it correctly) – am I missing something important here? How should I interpret this sentence properly?



The たち (質) means "one's nature" "disposition".

かけら (欠片) originally means "fragment" "piece", and かけらも~~ない means "not ... even a bit" "not ... at all".

So you're right that the line is a comment on her husband's lack of suspicion. It means "My husband is a kind of person who doesn't doubt things even a little."

  • Thank you! Just a follow-up question: in terms of nuance, how would you differentiate between 普通形+たちだ and ます形+がちだ?
    – L Parker
    Apr 25 at 15:04
  • And is ちっとも a more colloquial saying than かけらも?
    – L Parker
    Apr 25 at 15:09
  • 3
    We use 「~するたちだ」 to talk about one's inherent characteristics, nature, while 「~しがちだ」 just means one tends to do something. I think かけらも~ない is a bit literary(文学的) and emphatic way of saying すこしも~ない.
    – Chocolate
    Apr 25 at 15:19
  • Perfect. Thank you so much!
    – L Parker
    Apr 25 at 15:23

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