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逢桜「紫音と悠真くんは今年も海外旅行に行くの?」

紫音「ええ。今年は南半球でバカンスでもしようかなと」

悠真「とはいえ、僕たちは旅行先で仕事漬けなわけだけど」

紫音「ですわね。異国で執筆が出来るだけ気分転換にはなりますから」

What is the usage of the だけ in this sentence? It doesn’t seem to be できるだけ. And I know the construction verb (potential form)+だけ+verb, but the verbs have to be the same in this construction.

1
  • Are the couple in question writers by profession?
    – goldbrick
    Jan 13 at 0:32
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Broadly speaking most of だけ's usages fall under two general categories: a negative sense and a positive one. I think because the negative sense is taught earlier to us Japanese learners, most people are more familiar with that sense. But the other meaning is also very common and unfortunately easily confusable with the negative sense.

The negative sense functions to limit a degree, scope, or reference, and is explained as:

  1. 範囲を限定することを表す。「~ばかり」、「~のみ」。(Wiktionary Japanese)
    in a negative, limiting sense: only, just, limit (Wiktionary English)

But here the other sense is invoked in your text:

  1. 分量・限度・程度を表す。「~ほど」、「~くらい」、「~かぎり」。
    in a positive, non-limiting sense: amount, as much as

As explained in that Wiktionary entry:

ある程度は肯定的に評価できることを表す。

  • おんぼろの中古車だが、走るだけましかな。
  • タイムはともかく、この悪天候下で完走しただけ立派だ。

異国で執筆が出来るだけ: Doing/achieving as much as 異国で執筆が出来る (being able to write in a foreign country)

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