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)
Register Standard
使用域 一般
折角(せっかく) is an idiomatic 副詞(ふくし) (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 格助詞(かくじょし) (case making particle) の.
  • せっかく君(きみ)欲(ほ)しかった靴(くつ)買(か)ってあげのに友達(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.
  • せっかく休(やす)み取(と)ったのに雨(あめ)降(ふ)ったから予定(よてい)台無(だいな)し
    I went through the trouble to get a day off, but it rained, so my plans were ruined.
  • せっかくの誕生日(たんじょうび)会(かい)台無(だいな)ししてごめんなさい
    Sorry for ruining your long awaited birthday party.
  • 台風(たいふう)のせいでせっかくの休暇(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)の角(つの)折(お)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’.
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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.
Page 219, Pt. 16
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 392
[AIAIJ] An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese
Page 93