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
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Often used as a 副助詞(ふくじょし) (adverbial particle), きり may convey that (A) being done resulted in it being the ‘first and last time’. This is frequently translated as ‘only’, ‘just’, or ‘since’. きり comes from the う - Verb 切(き)る ‘to cut’. きり may also express that something is happening with (A) as the limit ‘nothing more, nothing less’.
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)、晩(ばん)ご飯(はん)食(た)べたきり何(なに)も食(た)べてないから、めちゃお腹(なか)空(す)いた。
    I haven't eaten anything since last night, so I am extremely hungry.
  • お祖母(ばあ)ちゃんは去年(きょねん)病気(びょうき)倒(たお)れて、寝(ね)たきりになった。
    Grandma got sick last year, and has become bedridden.
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’.
  • 一人(ひとり)きりになれる時間(じかん)が欲(ほ)しい
    I want some time where I can be alone.
  • 彼(かれ)は一度(いちど)きりしか会(あ)えていない
    I was only able to meet him just once.
  • 二人(ふたり)っきり時間(じかん)はいいね!
    A time just for the two of us is nice, isn't it!
With nouns and counters, きり usually shows that (A) is all that will be included in some particular situation/action.
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.
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It is finally just the two of us.
I went to that store only one time and haven't gone again.
When I am sad, I cry alone.

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