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補正予算案では、政府が4月26日に決めた6・2兆円の緊急経済対策のうち、原油価格高騰対策に1兆1739億円を充てる。ガソリン価格の抑制に向け、石油元売り会社に6~9月分の補助金を支給する。

https://www.yomiuri.co.jp/politics/20220525-OYT1T50102/

I know the bold part means "from June to September". But why is 分 there? Can we just omit the 分? Does 6~9月 work?

3 Answers 3

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これは6月〜9月の量を表しています。

その対象に値するだけの量を表すときに、このスラングが使われます。

This represents the amount from June to September.
This slang is used to describe as much as the subject deserves.

例: (Example:)

今月分のお米(Rice quantity for this month)

今週分のお金(Money for this week)


3

To give a bit more background on the other answers:

Depending on context, 分 is glossed a lot of ways. But from what I can tell, the most fundamental meaning is "portion", i.e., an amount that was split off, divided and allocated from a whole, for a particular purpose. An amount that fulfills a quota, if you prefer.

分 as a unit of time metaphorically derives from that, in that it's a subdivision of an hour. (Compare the English noun minute as a unit of time, to the adjective minute, with different pronunciation, meaning "small".)

分 as in the verb 分かる derives from the sense that a complex thing becomes understandable when broken down into its constituent parts. (Compare the English verb parse).

In other contexts, it can be used to represent rough fractions; especially 1/10 (see idioms like 十分 for "enough" - i.e., a full ten parts out of ten; the requirement is satisfied, or 五分五分 comparable to English "fifty-fifty").

Here, then, the sense is "quota" or "allocation"; the amount corresponds to the June-September period, rather than simply being due at some point in that interval. (For example, the amount of 補助金 might have been calculated based on expected losses during that period otherwise.)

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  • Thanks for explaining 分. (Too many answers here assume you're an expert already.)
    – Kingsley
    May 26 at 4:21
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6-9月 per se works, but it lacks the nuance of quota conveyed by 分.

Simply put,

  • 6-9月分の補助金 means subsidy that are paid as the amount corresponding to June-September
  • 6-9月の補助金 means subsidy that were supposed to be paid in June-September.

I'm not sure the English correctly expresses the difference, but somehow (to me) without 分 it sounds like the money that should be regularly paid but was left unpaid. In the given sentence, 6-9月分 sounds more natural.

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