I came across this sentence watching March Comes In Like a Lion. I'll transcribe it to the best of my ability: (here's the episode though, and the quote happens at 5:46)


This is the translation in the subtitles:

I'd been careful not to presume on their kindness, but actually, they've never depended on me for anything. That's right. Not even once.

My best guess is that it's basically an incomplete sentence, with some implied conclusion that makes so much sense / is so common that it just gets dropped? If that's not the case, I just don't get where the "not" and "never" would come from. Any help would be appreciated!

  • 1
    I can't view the video. 😢 Sorry, this video is not available in your region! だって。
    – chocolate
    Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 5:01
  • Perhaps 「一回だってない」?
    – Eddie Kal
    Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 5:30

2 Answers 2


The だって in your example means:

だって 🈩〘副助〙
「こんな会社は一日だって我慢できない」 「わずかだってミスは許されない

Used in this sense, だって(≈も) is always followed by negation. eg

(*「一回だってある。」 *「一度もある。」 ← incorrect)

And you can see 一回だって/一度も "even once" as a negative polarity item. From the linked answer:

Unlike English, Japanese is verb-final, and negation usually comes toward the end of a sentence. Many Japanese NPIs appear early, and they're often signals that a negative predicate is coming up:

​ 7a. ​ 決して忘れたりしない。
​ 7b. *決して忘れたりする。

In many cases, this signal is strong enough that you can leave out the actual part of the predicate containing the negation (as long as it can be inferred from context): ​

8a. ちっとも変わらない。
​8b. ちっとも。

Similarly, with 一回だって/一度も the predicate containing the negation can often be left out:

「行ったことあったっけ?」 -- 「一度も。」/「一回も。」
"Have you been there before?" -- "No, not even once."
"I have never doubted even once!"


See デジタル大辞泉(小学館)



だって has multiple meanings. In this usage, there is a strong sense of "even that" where that could refer to an amount, a degree, or anything along those lines. 「一度だってないのだ!」= (literally) there is not even once = Not even once (something has happened)

ない is omitted in that line from the anime, but I am not sure how commonly this kind of omission occurs.

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