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今はどうにか爆発だけは抑えてるわ

They're talking about a weird monster trapped in a tank.

I don't get how だけは works here after a noun and with 抑える

I thought it said something like "Explosions are the only thing holding it back" but that didn't quite make sense so I went for the official translation:

We've managed to keep it from exploding. For now.

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The official translation is correct. Here, 爆発 is the object of 抑える ("to suppress"). The sentence is roughly the same as:

今はどうにか爆発を抑えてるわ
We've managed to suppress an explosion.

But を has been replaced by だけは, where は is a contrast marker and だけ is "only".

今はどうにか爆発だけは抑えてるわ
We've managed to suppress an explosion (at least, although we've failed to suppress everything else).

Remember that は is not a subject marker but a topic marker, and it can replace を.

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  • Thank you very much! I'm just starting to read and inmerse more into the language and I'm finding it very hard. What tips would you give to further enhance my reading? The questions' source is ブラム!(Blame!) manga by 二瓶勉 (にへい つとむ). I picked it because I've already read it in English before and loved it but it turns out it's much harder than I thought Jul 24, 2022 at 20:41
  • @berenjena23 For understanding this specific sentence, you may find this article interesting.
    – naruto
    Jul 24, 2022 at 21:26

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