Grammar Info
N2 Lesson 5: 4/18

wonder if/how ~ really?, wonder if/how ~ actually?, sure enough, as expected

果たして + Phrase → Mostly found in literature

はたして + (Question) Phrase
はたして + Phrase
Register Standard
使用域 一般
果(は)たして, being the て-form of the う-Verb 果(は)たす ‘to fulfill’, or ‘to come to fruition’, is an expression that is used adverbially to strengthen phrases of speculation. It may be translated as ‘I wonder if (A)’, ‘how actually (A)’, or ‘how really (A)’.
果(は)たして will often be seen paired with other structures that indicate speculation, such as だろうか, でしょうか, かな, or かしら; and can be thought of as just emphasizing them further.
As this grammar point will be used adverbially, it will primarily appear at the beginning of sentences.
  • 果(は)たして彼(かれ)が言(い)っていることは本当(ほんとう)なのだろうか。
    I wonder if what he is saying is the truth.
  • 果(は)たして、あのやり方(かた)で本当(ほんとう)に成功(せいこう)するのでしょうか。
    I wonder if that approach will really work.
In sentences that do not include other speculative grammar patterns such as だろうか, 果(は)たして will regularly be translated as ‘sure enough’, or ‘as expected’.
  • 彼(かれ)は取引先(とりひきさき)の信頼(しんらい)を失(うしな)う事(こと)をしてしまった。果(は)たして、彼(かれ)はクビになった。
    He did something to lose the trust of his clients. As expected he was fired.
  • 彼女(かのじょ)は自分(じぶん)の意見(いけん)を彼(かれ)に押(お)し付(つ)けようとしたが、果(は)たして彼(かれ)は自分(じぶん)の意見(いけん)を変(か)えなかった。
    She tried to push her opinions to him, but sure enough he did not change his opinion.
Fun-fact - Coming from the base meaning of 果(は)たす ‘to come to fruition’, 果(は)たして can be thought of as similar to ‘in the end’ in almost all cases, as it merely expresses the speakers thought process about ‘what will’ or ‘what has’ happened ‘in the end’.
  • 大学院(だいがくいん)に進学(しんがく)するのは果(は)たして私(わたし)にメリットがあるのでしょうか?
    I wonder if going to graduate school will actually benefit me in the end.
  • 彼(かれ)以外(いがい)誰(だれ)も仕事(しごと)に来(こ)なかったため、果(は)たして彼(かれ)が全員(ぜんいん)の仕事(しごと)をすることになった。
    Since no one came to work except him, he ended up having to do everyone's job in the end.
If using this translation to memorize 果(は)たして, it should also be noted that the nuance of what happens ‘in the end’ is almost always something that the speaker either expected, or assumed would happen in the first place.
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Lost child: I wonder how will I actually get back home?
Lately, I often hear the slogan "Sport is equal to health". I wonder if that is really the case?
A certain person tried to prove that the Earth was flat, however, just as expected that person failed to do so.

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