Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 9: 17/22

次第(しだい)

As soon as

Structure

Verb[ます+ 次第(しだい)
[する]Verb + 次第(しだい)

Details

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About 次第

次第(しだい) is a noun that is often translated in different ways, depending on what type of word it follows. In this lesson, we will look at the meaning associated with the conjunctive form of standard verbs, and the stem of する verbs. Although it is a noun, 次第(しだい) may also be classified simply as a suffix in many cases.
Basically, 次第(しだい) means 'next in sequence after (A)', and is often translated to 'as soon as (A)'.
  • 用意(ようい)出来(でき)次第(しだい)(ぼく)(こえ)かけてください
    As soon as you get ready, please let me know.
  • ミュージカル()わり次第(しだい)連絡(れんらく)ください。
    Please call me as soon as the musical ends.
  • ()()わせ場所(ばしょ)到着(とうちゃく)次第(しだい)(わたし)連絡(れんらく)てください
    Please give me a call as soon as you arrive at the meet up spot.
Fun Fact
One of the most important things to keep in mind with 次第(しだい), is that the literal meaning in almost every situation is 'determining sequence'. This is unlike any standard phrase in English, but simply expresses that (A) is what will govern (B). Let's look at how this translates with different word types.
Verb 次第(しだい) - Verb determines the sequence of (B). Since a verb is not capable of making a choice, (A) simply 'happening' will result in (B).
  • 計画(けいかく)()まり次第(しだい)、あなた報告(ほうこく)します。
    I will notify you as soon as we decide on the plan.
Living noun 次第(しだい) - Noun determines the sequence of (B). Since living things can make choices, (B) will depend on (A).
  • ()くか()かないかは(きみ)次第(しだい)よ。
    Whether you go or not will depend on you.
Inanimate/abstract noun 次第(しだい) - Noun determines the sequence of (B). Since inanimate/abstract things cannot make choices, (A) will determine (B)'s course of action. (B) will usually involve some kind of decision.
  • 6(にん)()れるかは(くるま)サイズ次第(しだい)ね。
    Whether or not 6 people can fit will depend on the size of the car.

Examples

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  • 映画(えいが)()わり次第(しだい)連絡(れんらく)して。(むか)えに()からね。

    Let me know as soon as the movie is over because I'll go pick you up.

    • 宿題(しゅくだい)(こた)()かり次第(しだい)(おし)えてください。

      Please tell (teach) me the homework answers as soon as you know them.

      • (あめ)()次第(しだい)大会(たいかい)再開(さいかい)される。

        The rally will resume as soon as the rain stops.

        • 平日(へいじつ)(つま)仕事(しごと)()わり次第(しだい)(むか)えに()ってあげている。

          On weekdays, as soon as my wife gets off work, I pick her up.

          • 準備(じゅんび)出来(でき)次第(しだい)出発(しゅっぱつ)します

            We will depart as soon as you are ready.

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            次第 – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (2 in total)

            • Kanashimida

              Kanashimida

              Could there be a mistake with the third sentence example?

              雨が止み次第、大会は再開される。

              In my note I wrote this sentence can’t use with situations that happens naturally like rain, earthquake, etc… I asked my sensei and she said neither half of the sentence can use them. Also the fact that its a 硬い言い方 wasn’t shown in the examples.

            • Daru

              Daru

              You don’t use 次第 when you’re not expressing your volition on the second half on the sentence, and you can’t use it when its an spontaneous event or action, or past events as you’re waiting for something to happen and past events have, well, happened. For example:

              そのニュースが伝わり次第、暴動が起こるだろう。
              As soon as the news spreads, a riot will probably happen.

              This sentence is ungrammatical as the first half, news spreading, isn’t part of a natural progression. Not all news spread after all.

              In contrast:

              天候が回復し次第、出航します。
              We’ll set sail as soon as the weather clears.

              Weather WILL eventually clear as part of its natural progression, and you’re stating your intention to set sail as soon as that happens.

              Hope this helps!

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