Wild Nihongo!
たって

たって

たって Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Conjunction

Essential Meaning: Even if…

Construction: 

  • Verb informal past + って
    • E.g. はなしたって [Even if X speaks]
    • E.g. べたって [Even if X eats]
  • い-Adjective Stem + くたって
    • E.g. たかくたって [Even if X is expensive]
  • (な-Adjective Stem / Noun) + だっ(たっ)て
    • E.g. しずかだっ(たっ)て [Even if X is quiet]
    • E.g. 先生せんせいだっ(たっ)て [Even if X is a teacher]

Notes:

  • たって is a casual, conversational expression (i.e. not typically used in writing) and expresses the idea of “Even if X, Y“. With たって, the subjunctive / hypothetical nature of the sentence is emphasized, which gives the sentence an emotive feeling.
    • E.g. かねがあったってくるまいたくない。[Even if I had money, I wouldn’t want to buy a car.]
  • どんなに can be prefixed to sentences with たって to mean “No matter how“.
    • E.g. どんなにかんがえたってからないよ。[No matter hard you think, you won’t understand.]
    • E.g. どんなにさむくたって大丈夫だいじょうぶです。[No matter how cold it is, it’s no problem.]
  • たって can be interchanged with ても / でも (Even If). The difference is that ても / でも (Even If) is less emotive and less colloquial than たって and can be used in writing.
    • E.g. かねがあってもくるまいたくない。[Even if I had money, I wouldn’t want to buy a car.]
    • E.g. かねがあったってくるまいたくない。[Even if I had money, I wouldn’t want to buy a car.] The difference between this sentence and the previous sentence is very slight.

Example Sentences:

あのひとにははなしたってからない。[Even if I told that person, he wouldn’t understand.]

ぼくはその切符きっぷたかくたってう。[Even if that ticket is expensive, I will buy it.]

かねがあったってくるまいたくない。[Even if I had money, I wouldn’t want to buy a car.]

きたなくたってかまいません。[Even if it’s dirty, I don’t mind.]

とおくて不便ふべんだってマイホームならかまいません。[Even if it’s far away and inconvenient, I wouldn’t mind as long as it’s my home.]

どんなにいい先生せんせいだってときどき間違まちがいます。[No matter how good a teacher one is, one sometimes makes mistakes.]

WILD Examples:

Listen to this lyric at 0:30: 失敗しっぱいしたっていいよ [Even if you make a mistake, it’s OK!]
At 0:20, listen for this lyric: オタクだったって It’s All Right [Even if you’re a geek, it’s alright!] This is also the name of the song itself.
Listen to this line at 1:19: きみ全然ぜんぜん全部ぜんぶなくなってりになったって、もうまよわないまたいちからさがはじめるさ [Even if you completely disappear and get torn to pieces, I won’t lose my way, I’ll start searching for you again from square one]
Listen for this line at 1:00: 来世らいせあったってかりくたって、だからなんだってうんだ [Even if there’s an afterlife, and even assuming that there isn’t one, what of it?] The following line goes: まれわったってわらなくたってんなこたぁどうだっていいんだ [Even if we’re reborn, and even if we aren’t who cares?]
Listen to this line at 3:03: かなしいことがあったって今日きょうわればわすれられるよ [Even if there are sad things, you can forget about them at the end of the day]

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