Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 10: 2/20


I never dreamed, Never, No way, Don't tell me, You don't say


まさか + Phrase


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About まさか

Almost always written purely in hiragana, まさか is a combination of まさ, a noun meaning 'precise', or 'exact', and the adverbial particle か. In modern Japanese, まさか is thought of as a single adverb meaning 'it can't be true', 'no way', or 'don't tell me'.
As it is treated primarily as an adverb, まさか will most often appear at the beginning of a sentence, before some statement about what the speaker is shocked/surprised about.
  • まさかタナカ(くん)このジム(かよ)ている(おも)っていなかったよ。
    I never would have believed that you also came to this gym.
  • まさか(かれ)キャプテンなんて
    Don't tell me that he is the captain!
Fun Fact
まさ comes from (まさ), meaning 'precise' or 'actual'. However, this noun is very rarely used in modern Japanese. まさに is an adverb used to mean 'precisely', while まさか is another adverb used to mean 'no way!'. However, the literal meaning of まさか is closer to 'is it true?', or 'is it actually?', due to か's role in creating questions.
  • 全然(ぜんぜん)()っていないですよ。(ぼく)(いま)まさに()いたところです
    I didn't wait at all. I actually just arrived now.
  • まさかリアフランス(かえ)るって本当(ほんとう)なの
    Is it actually true that Lia is going back to France?


  • まさかこんなところで(きみ)出会(であ)えるなんて⁉︎

    I never dreamed I would meet you in a place like this!

  • まさかこの問題(もんだい)()なんて予想(よそう)していませんでした。

    I never would have thought that this problem (on a test) would come up.

  • まさかこんな(しょう)をいただけるなんて、(ゆめ)にも(おも)いませんでした。

    I never even dreamed that I would receive this prize.

  • まさかこんな大雪(おおゆき)()なんて(おも)わなかった。

    I never dreamed it would snow this much.

  • 最近(さいきん)羽振(はぶ)りがいいね。まさか(たから)くじでも()たったの?

    Recently, things really turned around for you. Hey...You don't say, did you win the lottery or something?

    羽振りがいい means 'to be popular' or 'to be prosperous'.

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まさか – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (2 in total)

  • Anthropos888


    Most example sentences are written in the form まさか + … + なんて + neg. verb.

    What does なんて mean in this context? And if なんて and neg. verb are commonly used together with まさか you could note that in the structure.

  • mrnoone


    In this case, it is used for emphasizing the feeling of surprise even more.

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