494 - かたがた

One thing we get a lot of in N1 grammar is fancy-pants language.

Not my strong point.

I think I'm just all around bad at "formal," as they call it. Polite? Definitely. But casual, too.

Still, maybe I should get better at using language like...


JLPT N1: かたがた (by way of; while happening to; while also)

かたがた can be used to describe single actions that accomplish two goals.

For example:

立派な御中元をいただいたので、お礼かたがた先生をお訪ねした。
りっぱ な おちゅうげん を いただいた ので、 おれい かたがた せんせい を おたずねした。
I went to visit my teacher, and also to thank him for the wonderful Bon Festival gift.
Literally: “splendid + Bon Festival gift + を + (humbly) received + ので, + thanks + かたがた + sensei + を + お visiting + did.”

The single action here is お訪ねした (おたずねした), "visited." The "two goals" are (1) visiting my teacher and (2) giving thanks for the Bon Festival gift.

I want to think of some cool explanation about which goal (1 or 2) should come directly before かたがた, but I can't think of one. ^_^

The problem, I think, is that かたがた is often used idiomatically. Specifically, here are some idiomatic examples:

お礼かたがた
おれい かたがた
while also (giving) thanks; by way of (giving) thanks
Literally: "お-thanks + かたがた"

お祝いかたがた
おいわい かたがた
while also celebrating; by way of celebrating
Literally: "お-celebration + かたがた"

ご報告かたがた
ごほうこく がたかた
while also reporting; by way of reporting
Literally: "ご-report = かたがた"


When can we use かたがた?!

Well, it's typically used in formal settings and business relationships.

In other words, I personally never use it. Just not enough formality in my life, I guess.

However, I have heard Japanese people use it, and it's not all that rare. So maybe I should get some speaking practice in for this one. (*Note to self: Find an excuse to be formal.*)


Here's another example:


神戸への出張かたがた、足を延ばして昔お世話になった先生を訪問した。
こうべ へ の しゅっちょう かたがた、 あし を のばして むかし おせわ に なった せんせい を ほうもん した。
While I was in Kobe for work, I also went to visit my teacher (who helped me out a lot when I was younger).
Literally: “Kobe + への + business trip + かたがた, + go a little further (= leg + を + stretch) (and) + a long time ago + was indebted to / received help from + sensei + を + calling on / visiting + did.”


Can you spot a similarity between this example and the first one we saw?

Specifically, take a look at the verbs we have following かたがた:

訪ねる(たずねる // to visit; to call on; to pay a visit to
訪問する(ほうもんする // to visit; to call on; to pay a visit to

Not only do both of these verbs mean, more or less, "to visit," they also denote movement (going from one place to another).

It is very common for verbs denoting movement to follow かたがた.

Consider the following example, in which the verb 帰省する (きせいする // going home; visiting one's home[town]) (a verb denoting movement!) follows かたがた:

彼女と婚約したので、報告かたがた来月一緒に帰省するつもりです。
かのじょ と こんやく した ので、 ほうこく かたがた らいげつ いっしょ に きせい する つもり です。
I got engaged to my girlfriend, so we’re planning to go see my family next month, when we’ll share the news with them.
Literally: “she / girlfriend + と + engagement + did + ので, + report + かたがた + next month + together + に + visiting home + intend to do (=do + つもり + です).”


I'm guessing that many of you have picked up on this by now, but the word coming directly before かたがた will always be a NOUN.


NOUNかたがた


Note that this NOUN will frequently be a するNOUN (i.e. a NOUN that can attach to する).


One more, and you'll be finished:


行きつけのレストランのオーナーが入院していると聞いたので、お見舞いかたがた病院を訪ねた。
いきつけ の レストラン の オーナー が にゅういん している と きいた ので、 おみまい かたがた びょういん を たずねた。
I heard that the owner of my favorite restaurant was in the hospital, so I went to pay him a visit.
Literally: “favorite (=often visiting) + の + restaurant + の + owner + が + hospitalization + is doing + と + heard + ので, + calling on someone who is ill + かたがた + hospital + を + visited.”


That's it!

The sentences in this lesson were a bit long. But grammatically speaking, this N1 grammar is pretty straightforward, yeah?

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