Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 10: 13/20


With trouble, At great pains, Take the trouble, Might as well..., Rare/long-awaited occasion


せっかく + Phrase
せっかく + + Noun (of Event)


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About 折角

折角(せっかく) is an idiomatic adverb that is often used to express doing something 'with trouble', 'at great pains', or 'to be a rare/long-awaited occasion'. Being an adverb that often modifies the meaning of a whole sentence, it will commonly appear at the beginning of a statement. When 折角(せっかく) is nominating an event as being long awaited, it will appear directly before the event, separated only by the case marking particle の.
  • せっかく(きみ)()しかった(くつ)()てあげのに友達(ともだち)あげた最悪(さいあく)
    I took great trouble to get you the shoes that you wanted, but you gave them to your friend? How inconsiderate.
  • せっかく(やす)()ったのに(あめ)()ったから予定(よてい)台無(だいな)
    I went through the trouble to get a day off, but it rained, so my plans were ruined.
  • せっかく誕生日(たんじょうび)(かい)台無(だいな)してごめんなさい
    Sorry for ruining your long awaited birthday party.
  • 台風(たいふう)せいでせっかく休暇(きゅうか)中止(ちゅうし)になった。
    Due to the typhoon, my long awaited vacation has been canceled.
Fun Fact
There are several guesses for where 折角(せっかく) originates. One of the most common is that it is an abbreviation for 頭巾(ずきん)(つの)()る 'to fold the horn (tail) of a hood'. This was something that a famous confucian did intentionally to protect his hood from getting wet in the rain. The people of the time started to copy the act, and 折角(せっかく) also came to be used as an idiom to mean 'intentionally', or 'to go out of one's way to do something'.




    I took great trouble to study Japanese for hours each day, but I got worried about whether I had passed the JLPT or not, and got depressed.


    Even though I went through the trouble of being transported to a parallel universe, instead of getting cool powers, I became a simple vending machine.


    A long-awaited date was spoiled because I caught a cold. It is little disappointing.


    Even though I went through great pains to build a house for my wife, we divorced. All of my efforts were in vain. I feel down.


    Since this trip with friends is a rare occasion, I want to have a lot of fun.

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折角 – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (6 in total)

  • Johnathan-Weir


    There is a set of 4 videos starting with this one that do a pretty good job explaining all the uses of せっかく

  • pandashoujo


    I’m struggling to tell whether the word that comes after せっかく is a “phrase” or a “noun expressing event.” What’s the difference…?

  • Daru


    Phrase would be just any old sentence, where a Noun expressing an event would be something like 大会、忘年会, etc. Just something that refers to an event.

    Added this to the resources, thank you!

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