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Say I want to express something like "Is it ok if I only say [まだ], can you understand?", in a context where I'm speaking with a Japanese person and I want to ask if saying something without extra information is understood in that context. My first attempt was:

『まだ』だけというのはいいですか? 分かる?

I'm not even sure if it's the correct way of quoting myself, but does this imply that だけ is part of the quote or not? I don't want the person to mistakenly think that I'm asking if saying "まだだけ" is fine. How can I improve this?

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  • だけ tags onto the end of what it's governing. まだだけ reads like "only still". It sounds weird to me (a non-native speaker here).
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 0:29
  • @A.Ellett I added quotes to make my point clearer. But as you say I suspect I can't use it like that.
    – Simon
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 0:34
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    Keep in mind that と quotes what was said. So you've quoted "『まだ』だけ". But your use of というの sounds not like you're actually speaking but talking about the thing referred to as まだだけ.
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 0:38
  • You're phrasing this as if in English. Where's you conditional in Japanese?
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 0:39
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    @A.Ellett is right. I also wouldn’t understand the いう in『まだ』だけというの as 言う.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 4:29

2 Answers 2

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"Is it ok if I only say [まだ], can you understand?", in a context where I'm speaking with a Japanese person and I want to ask if saying something without extra information is understood in that context.

I would say

「まだ」と言うだけでわかりますか? - lit. By only saying "まだ", is it understandable? /
「まだ」と言うだけでいいですか? - lit. By only saying "まだ", is it okay?

or maybe

「まだ」だけで、わかりますか? - lit. By only "まだ", is it understandable? /
「まだ」とだけ言えば、わかりますか? - lit. If I say only "まだ", is it understandable?

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SHORT ANSWER

  • 「まだ」という言葉のみ (No other than the word which is "mada")

CASUAL EXAMPLE

  • 「まだ」としか言いませんが、それで意味分かりますか? (I'll only say "mada", will that make sense?)

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

  • これから「まだ」としか言いませんが、その発言だけで伝わりますか? (Hereafter I will only say "mada", but will that phrase alone be enough to express (my intention?)

LONG SENTENCE EXAMPLE

  • ゲームをしましょう。私はこれから一つの言葉のみを使います。その言葉は…「まだ」。「まだ」以外の言葉は使いません。「まだ」という言葉のみを使用することで問題ありませんか? (Let's play a game. Hereafter I will use only one word. That word would be... "mada". Words other than "mada" will not be used. Will this be not a problem, that I only use the word "mada"?)
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  • Thank you! If my quote included more than one word, would it work also with that form?
    – Simon
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 0:55
  • No (to be safe) , if your quote included more than one word, it would be better to use 言う OR 発言. Check out my PRACTICAL EXAMPLE I just added. Make sense?
    – dungarian
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 1:04
  • Yes, your examples are insightful. With that same form, I suppose「まだ」とだけ言うが [...] is also a possibility?
    – Simon
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 1:18
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    Yes, it's a possibility. 『「まだ」とだけ言うが~』 does make sense to me. e.g. 『「まだ」とだけ言うが、その言葉(発言)だけで分る?』 OR 『「まだ」とだけ言いますが、その言葉(発言)だけで分かりますか?』. However, it's a bit... odd. Sorry I just can't explain it logically. But especially when verbally communicating, the rythm of 「まだとだけ」 may confuse the listener and they may go "Huh? Say again?", kind of like your initial concern. When you say 『「まだ」としか言わないが~』, the TO-SHIKA sound provides the listener a warning sign, that you're talking about something only and nothing else.
    – dungarian
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 1:37
  • Firstly, the correct word is 使用, not 利用. Secondly, the sentences look pretty wordy and have that "translated" feel to them.
    – user4032
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 1:39

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