Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 9: 8/22


Only, Just, Since

っきり is more casual than きり


Verb[た] + きり(1)
Noun + きり
これ(2) + きり(1)
Number + Counter + きり(1)

(1) っきり
(2) それ


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About きり

As an adverbial particle, きり may convey that 'upon (A)', where (A) is usually a verb, that action was the 'first and last time'. This is frequently translated as 'only', 'just', or 'since'. きり comes from the う - Verb () 'to cut'. きり is often used after the plain past form of verbs, with nouns, or with counters. Let's look at verbs first.
  • 昨日(きのう)(ばん)(はん)()べたきり(なに)()べてないから、めちゃお(なか)()いた。
    I haven't eaten anything since last night, so I am extremely hungry.
  • 祖母(ばあ)ちゃんは去年(きょねん)病気(びょうき)(たお)れて、()きりになった。
    Grandma got sick last year, and has become bedridden. (Can only sleep)
With verbs, きり is primarily used to show that (A) occurring was all that was required for (B). Usually, this results in some permanent consequence, or permanent change of opinion. In almost every situation, (A) is something that has only happened once, and きり can be interpreted as 'ever since'.
When it comes to the use of きり with nouns or counters, it will express that something is happening with (A) as the limit 'nothing more, nothing less'. In other words, (A) is all that will be included in some particular situation/action.
  • 一人(ひとり)きりになれる時間(じかん)()しい
    I want some time where I can be alone.
  • (かれ)一度(いちど)きりしか()えていない
    I was only able to meet him once.
  • 二人(ふたり)きり時間(じかん)いいね!
    A time just for the two of us is nice, isn't it!
きり may also be seen as っきり or キリ. There is no specific change in nuance, but っきり is the most common casual form.


  • やっと二人(ふたり)っきりになれたね。

    It is finally just the two of us.

  • その(みせ)一回(いっかい)()ったきり()っていない。

    I went to that store only one time and haven't gone again.

  • (さび)しい(とき)一人(ひとり)っきり()

    When I am sad, I cry alone.

  • (ちち)がついに()きりになってしまった。

    My dad has become completely bedridden.

  • 彼女(かのじょ)とは喧嘩(けんか)したっきり()っていません。

    I haven't seen my girlfriend since we had a fight.

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きり – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (3 in total)

  • cineebon


    nihongo no mori video has been made private. Does anyone have another link?

  • wrt7MameLZE33wlmpCAV


    Not to a video, I’m afraid. I can refer you to pp. 73-75 of A Dictionary of Japanese Particles by Sue A. Kawashima (published by Kodansha) and pp. 219-223 of A Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar by Seiichi Makino and Michio Tsutsui (published by The Japan Times Publishing).

  • Daru


    Went ahead and updated the 日本語の森 to the new, non-unlisted one. Cheers!

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