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それから

それから

それから Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Conjunction

Essential Meaning: After that / And then / In addition to that

Construction: 

  • Verb て-Form + それから
    • E.g. はなしてそれから。。。 [X speaks, and then…]
    • E.g. べてそれから。。。[X eats, and then…]
  • Verb ます-Form + それから
    • E.g. はなしそれから。。。[X speaks, and then…]
    • E.g. べそれから。。。[X eats, and then…]
  • い-Adjective stem + く(て) + それから
    • E.g. たかく(て)それから。。。[X is expensive, and in addition to that…]
  • な-Adjective Stem + で + それから
    • E.g. しずかでそれから。。。[X is quiet, and in addition to that…]
  • Sentence 1. それかれ Sentence 2.
    • E.g. べる。それから, る。[X eats. And then, X sleeps.]
  • Noun 1 (と) Noun 2 (と) + それから Noun 3
    • E.g. 英語えいご (と)日本語にほんご (と)それから中国語ちゅうごくご [English and Japanese, and in addition to that Chinese]

Notes:

  • それから is used to enumerate actions, objects, and states that occur in a temporal or physical sequence. Keep in mind that それから is a conjunction, so the verb or adjective that precedes それから does not take a conjugated tense (that job is done by the final verb).
  • それから is often used to append some item to a list (e.g. something the speaker has almost forgotten to include).
    • E.g. レストランではステーキとサラダとそれからチーズケーキをべました。[At the restaurant I ate steak, salad…..Oh, and then I ate cheesecake.] Because of それから, it is understood that the cheesecake was eaten later in the temporal sequence than the steak and salad.
  • それから is also used to enumerate actions in a temporal order.
    • E.g. 昨日きのう銀座ぎんざって、それから映画えいがった。[Yesterday I went to Ginza, and then I went to see a movie.]
  • それから can also be used to urge or elicit further information from someone.
    • E.g. A: 今日きょうはどこへきましたか。B: まず東京とうきょうタワーにのぼりました。A:それから? B: 美術館びじゅつかんきました。A: それから?B: デパートにって食堂しょくどうひるごはんをべました。[A: Where did you go today? B: First, I went to the top of Tokyo Tower. A: And then? B: I went to the art museum. A: And then? B: I went to the department store and ate lunch at a cafeteria.]
  • There is a slight difference between てから and て-Form + それから in that てから is used to convey a sequence of events in which the latter event is emphasized (i.e. After X happens, Y happens). In other words, with てから the first event merely sets the stage for the more relevant second action. Verb て-Form + それから, on the other hand, is used to enumerate a list of actions and emphasizes the sequence itself.
    • E.g. 山中やまなかさんは三時間さんじかんゴルフをしてから、一時間いちじかんおよいだ。 [After golfing for three hours, Mr. Yamanaka swam for 1 hour.] In this example, the emphasis is clearly placed on the act of swimming, and golfing merely sets the stage.
    • E.g. 山中やまなかさんは三時間さんじかんゴルフをして、それから一時間いちじかんおよいだ。[Mr Yamanaka went golfing for three hours. And on top of that, he went swimming for 1 hour.] In this example, the emphasis is placed on the fact that golfing and swimming occur sequentially.
  • When それから is used to enumerate actions (i.e. with verbs), it is very similar in meaning to . One subtle difference is that implies that there are further unstated actions in addition to the stated actions (i.e. the listing is in-exhaustive). それから does not have such an implication.
    • E.g. 今日きょうはテニスをして、それから映画えいがた。[Today I played tennis, and then I saw a movie.]
    • E.g. 今日きょうはテニスもしたし、映画えいがた。[Today I played tennis (among other things), and on top of that I saw a movie.] implies that the speaker’s list of action is in-exhaustive, and that the speaker did other things today besides playing tennis and seeing a movie.
  • When two actions are sequential (i.e. they do not occur simultaneously), それから and そして are interchangeable. However unlike それから, そして CAN be used to express simultaneous actions.
    • E.g. 音楽おんがくいて、そして勉強べんきょうするのがきだ。[I like listening to music and then studying. / I like listening to music while studying.] With そして, whether this sentence describes simultaneous or sequential action depends on context.
    • E.g. 音楽おんがくいて、それから勉強べんきょうするのがきだ。[I like listening to music and then studying.] With それから, this sentence can only be interpreted as a set of sequential action.

Example Sentences:

昨日きょう二時間にじかんぐらい友達ともだちんでそれからうちにかえった。[Yesterday I drank with my friends for about 2 hours, and then I went home.]

昨日きのう二時間にじかんぐらい友達ともだちんだ。それから本屋ほんやってうちにかえった。[Yesterday I drank with my friends for about 2 hours. After that I took a pitstop at a bookstore, and then I went home.]

十時じゅうじまで宿題しゅくだいをしました。それから映画えいがきました。[I did homework until 10. After that, I went to the movies.]

昨日きのう銀座ぎんざって、それから映画えいがった。[Yesterday I went to Ginza, and then I went to see a movie.]

レストランではステーキとサラダとそれからチーズケーキをべました。[At the restaurant I ate steak, salad…..Oh, and then I ate cheesecake.]

みずうみいろはじめはあおく、それからみどりになりました。[The lake’s color was blue at first. After that, it turned green.]

月曜げつよう火曜かよう、それから木曜もくようもとてもいそがしいです。[On Monday, Tuesday, as well as Thursday, I’m very busy.]

WILD Examples:

At around 1:38, listen for this line: 昼間ひるまはパズルにダーツにおやつ、いたずらバレエそしてチェス、ものそれからキャンドルづく [In the living room, I eat snacks while I build puzzles and play darts. Then I goof around, do ballet, and then play chess. Then I do pottery, and on top of all that I make candles.] In this example, Rapunzel is reciting a long list of activities she does to occupy herself in her tower. And then she appends an item to the end of the list using それから.

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