The Japanese DAKE Particle

After a while without writing about this subject, I'm returning to commenting on Japanese particles. This time, let's talk a little about the Japanese particle DAKE.

What I found most interesting about the DAKE particle is that it has a similar usage to the words just, just, just and just of our Portuguese language.

In most sentences, DAKE can be translated as any of the aforementioned words.

The Japanese Particle DAKE – Only in Japanese

In the many Japanese phrases I researched, the DAKE particle can be translated as only, onlyonly or precisely when it appears before a noun, indicating a quantitative limit. The interesting thing is that this quantity limit always conveys the idea that the quantity is small.

Examples:

赤い林檎だけ三つ下さい。

give me only (only) three apples please.

本を三冊だけ買いました。

Bought only three books.

昨日学校に来た学生は、三人だけでした。

Yesterday, only three students came to school.

The Japanese particle DAKE – Until in Japanese

When the DAKE particle appears after a Japanese verb in the potential form, it indicates a degree of limitation that is never exceeded. Therefore, in most cases, the Japanese particle DAKE indicates a limit that cannot be measured or counted, but only felt and understood.

If you want to know more about Japanese verbs in the potential form, I suggest reading the article in the link below.

The potential form of Japanese verbs.

In such cases, the DAKE particle can be translated as untilup untiluntil whenuntil where… or any synonym.

Examples:

私は歩けるだけ歩きました。

I walked (walked) until where I could.

出来るだけ助けてあげましょう。

I tried to help until where I could.

The Japanese particle DAKE – The best

In some cases, the DAKE particle can be used for comparison, showing that the thing compared is the best in the subject, branch, species, function, etc. Pay attention to the context of the sentence to know when this case is occurring.

Examples:

安けれ安いだけいいです。

the cheapest is the best.

寝たいだけ寝てもいい。

You sleep better when you want to sleep (feel like sleeping).

The Japanese particle DAKE – As…as

When the DAKE particle appears between the verb dekiru and the adverbial form of an adjective, it can be translated as as asas well as and etc.

If you want to know more about how to turn adjectives into adverbs, I suggest you read the article below:

Adverbs in Japanese.

Examples:

出来るだけ早くやって下さい。

Knife So fast how much can.

The expression DAKE DE NAKU…MO – Not only

There is a very interesting way to create phrases like “Me no I ate only one orange, but apples too.” In japanese. To do this, just use the DAKE NAKU…MO pattern. Look at the sentence patterns below to understand how this expression works.

Examples:

僕は日本語だけでなく、英語出来ます。

Me no I talk only Japanese, but English also.

すしだけでなく、刺身食べました。

No ate only Sushi, but Sashimi also.

In the following video you can see the difference between しか・だけ :

Conclusion

Despite not having commented on all the functions of the DAKE particle, we can already see that its general use is simple and practical. Just keep in mind the idea of limitation, in the sense of a small amount or a limit that cannot be exceeded.

またね。

To the next.

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