From the first episode of Death Note:

まったくどうかしてるな 僕も

apparently means

Seriously, what am I doing?

I was wondering if someone could help me parse this sentence out grammatically. Things that seem weird to me (as a beginner):

  1. According to the dictionary, "まったく" is apparently an Adverb or a na-adjective. Since there's no な after it, I presume it's an adverb? Yet there's no verb in this sentence either?

  2. The last word is "僕も", which is a noun, correct? Why is there no verb or copular at the end of this sentence?

  3. "どうかしてる" is said to be an expression according to my dictionary. So what function does the な after it serve?

1 Answer 1

  • 僕も is at the end of the sentence because it was added as an afterthought. Semantically the sentence is the same as 僕もまったくどうかしてるな.
  • This も is an "exclamatory-も" described in this question: Odd use of も has me stumped 「ソウルにいるのも今夜きりです」
  • どうかしている (literally something like "acting somehow") is a set phrase that euphemistically means "something is wrong (with someone)", "nuts", "insane", etc., depending on the context.
  • This まったく is basically an adverbial intensifier meaning "totally", but it's also used like an interjection. "Seriously" or "Indeed" is a possible translation.
  • な is a sentence-end particle for (self-)confirmation or adding emotion. See: When is "na" used at the end of a sentence? and Role of な in 嬉しいな

So the whole sentence means "Something's totally wrong with me(, huh?)".

  • Is this sentence an example of inversion? Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 4:40
  • 1
    @ChristelleAugustin Yes, but this is just an unorganized word order that randomly happened in speech, rather than an intentional rhetoric.
    – naruto
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 4:43
  • Could this も also just be a simple "too" or "also"? Light laments the state of the world, so maybe the line is meant as "(Not only is there something wrong with the world), there also seems to be something wrong with me".
    – Kaskade
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 21:10
  • @Kaskade If the context really suggests that (e.g., he's said この世界はどうかしてる soon before this), then yes.
    – naruto
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 21:40

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