とうとう + Phrase
- とうとうお前が大学生か...So you're finally a college student... (After all this time, have you finally become a college student?)
- とうとうロシアに行く。I will finally go to Russia. (After all this time, I can finally go to Russia)
This adverb may be used to express either positive or negative outcomes, as it focuses more on the time required to achieve the result, rather than the result being good or bad.
- とうとう夏休みだ！It's finally summer break! (Good result)
- とうとう夏休みが終わる日が来た。The day that summer break ends has finally arrived. (Bad result)
A good example of this is the changing of seasons. You might want to say 'finally, it's summer!', but this is not something that anyone has done anything to achieve. Rather, it came naturally. In these cases, いよいよ will be used, and has the nuance of 'finally', or 'at last' (in relation to something starting/happening).
- いよいよ夏来た。Finally, summer has come. (Natural Japanese)
Finally it is my day off.
He administered the shot after all. (He finally administered the shot)
I finally threw that away. (I threw that away after all)
I can finally study kanji.
I have finally arrived in Japan.
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とうとう – Grammar Discussion
Most Recent Replies (10 in total)
I am confused by what seems to be a contradiction in the last example sentence and the boxed text of the grammar write up.
The last example is:
While the boxed text says:
Caution - とうとう is not used in situations where you expect something to happen/start, but there has not actually been a period of time in which some sort of effort was being made to achieve a result. A good example of this is the changing of seasons. You might want to say ‘finally, it’s summer!’, but this is not something that anyone has done anything to achieve.
Why is it okay to use とうとう for saying the last day of summer break is here, but not to say a season is starting?
I think that box goes a bit too far; とうとう doesn’t require active effort by the speaker.
It’s however still true that いよいよ is used much more commonly with a season that’s just starting; I think it’s because it sounds more positive (though it can be negative too) and it works when an event that the speaker was waiting for starts. When I say いよいよ夏が来た I’m saying it’s finally summer; I’ve been waiting for summer. I’m not saying that after long months of it not being summer, in the end summer came after all.
Thank you for your explanation!
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