Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 5: 11/18


Already, A long time ago, Long ago


とっくに + Phrase


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About とっくに

()っくに, seen primarily as とっくに, is an adverb that can be translated roughly as 'long ago'. This word is an emphasized version of ()うに, a literary form which is not used much in modern Japanese.
とっくに is a sentence altering adverb, so will appear most often at the beginning of sentences, or before the verb it is describing as having happened a long time ago.
  • とっくに()べちゃったよ。
    I already ate.
  • もうとっくに()時間(じかん)じゃん、まだ宿題(しゅくだい)(はじ)めてないのに...どうしよう。
    It is already time to sleep. I haven't even started my homework… What should I do?
  • 提出(ていしゅつ)期限(きげん)とっくに()ぎているのでやってもやらなくても関係(かんけい)がない。
    The due date has long since passed, so it won't matter if I do it or not.
  • (おそ)いぞ!みんなはもうとっくに(かえ)ってるぞ!
    You are late! Everyone has already gone home ages ago!
When compared with structures like すでに and もう, とっくに will either indicate something that has happened much further in the past, or may be used simply for exaggeration.
  • そんな(こと)()われなくてもとっくに()ってるよ!
    I was aware of this well in the past, so no need to tell me!
Fun-fact - It is uncommon to see とっくに listed with an exact time, as the stem (old Japanese) word ()し already means something close to 'far earlier', or 'at a much earlier time'.



  • 90年代(ねんだい)子供(こども):「一体(いったい)どこにカルメンがいるの?」(だれ):「とっくに(とお)くへ()げたぞ」

    90's child: 'Where in the world is Carmen?' Someone: 'She is already long gone.'

    • A:「トムおじさんどうですか?」B:「(かれ)とっくに()んだ。10(ねん)(まえ)にね。」A:「( ಠ_ಠ)」

      A: 'How is uncle Tom?' B: 'He died a long time ago. 10 years back, actually…' A: '( ಠ_ಠ)'

      • 「お(まえ)とっくに()んでいる。」

        'You are already long dead.'

        • (とし)をとるにつれて(とき)(なが)れを(はや)(かん)じるそのため()づけずにオレはとっくに老人(ろうじん)だ。

          As you grow older, it feels like the flow of time gets faster. And so, without noticing, I had already aged.

          • (おや):「部屋(へや)片付(かたづ)けなさい。」子供(こども):「とっくに()わったよ!」(おこ)った(おや):「()わってないでしょ!もっと片付(かたづ)けなさい!」

            Parent: 'Clean your room!' Child: 'I have already finished!' Angry parent: 'You haven't! Clean more!'

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