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てから

てから

てから Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Conjunction

Essential Meaning: After X / Having done X / Since doing X

Construction: 

  • Verb て-Form + から
    • E.g. はなしてから [After speaking]
    • E.g. べてから [After eating]

Notes:

  • てから is just an extension of から (Starting point / Source) where one action serves as the starting point for another action. Unlike から (Reason / Cause), てから does not imply causality; it merely indicates that Sentence 1 occurs earlier than Sentence 2 in the temporal sequence. It also implies a level of volitionality and planning on the part of the speaker.
  • Sentence 1 てから, Sentence 2 translates to “After doing Sentence 1, Sentence 2“, “Since doing Sentence 1, Sentence 2“, or “Having done Sentence 1, Sentence 2“, depending on the context.
    • E.g. わたし友達ともだち電話でんわしてからうちをた。[After calling my friend, I left my house.]
    • E.g. わたしたちがこのいえったからもう十年じゅうねんになる。[It’s already been ten years since we bought this house.]
  • Be careful not to confuse てから with から (Reason / Cause). The two can look very similar but convey completely different meanings.
    • E.g. ジョギングをしてからシャワーをびた。[After jogging, I took a shower.]
    • E.g. ジョギングをしたからシャワーをびた。[Because I went jogging, I took a shower.]
  • てから implies that the speaker has a high degree of volitional control over the main action in Sentence 2 and it places a strong emphasis on chronological order. The regular て-Form, on the other hand, conveys a more neutral description of events. So if the main verb in Sentence 2 does not strongly express the speaker’s wishes, desires, etc., から in てから can optionally drop to form the て-Form. However, if the main verb in Sentence 2 does convey the speaker’s volition (e.g. via a suggestion, command, request, etc.), から in てから cannot drop.
    • E.g. *勉強べんきょうわって、テニスをしましょう。[After studying, let’s play tennis.] This sentence is ungrammatical, because the て-Form can not be paired with a volitional verb form in sentence 2.
    • E.g. 勉強べんきょうわってからテニスをしましょう。[After studying, let’s play tennis.]
    • E.g. *勉強べんきょうわってあそびなさい。[After studying, go out and play.] This sentence is ungrammatical, because the て-Form can not be paired with a volitional verb form in sentence 2.
    • E.g. 勉強べんきょうわってからあそびなさい。[After studying, go out and play.]
    • E.g. ジョギングをしてからシャワーをびた。[After jogging, I took a shower.] てから emphasizes the temporal sequence of events; the jogging took place before the shower, and this is important / relevant.
    • E.g. ジョギングをしてシャワーをびた。[After jogging, I took a shower.] In this case, the て-Form conveys a neutral description of events. The fact that showering takes place after jogging is not particularly relevant.

Example Sentences:

クリスはばんはんべてから映画えいがった。[After Chris ate dinner, she went to a movie.]

わたし友達ともだち電話でんわしてからうちをた。[After calling my friend, I left my house.]

ジョンはいつもシャワーをびてからます。[John always goes to bed after taking a shower.]

わたしたちがこのいえってからもう十年じゅうねんになる。[It’s already been 10 years since we bought this house.]

二年前にねんまえ交通事故こうつうじここしてから、マークはくるまらないようにしています。[Since causing a car accident two years ago, Mark has been avoiding riding in cars.]

WILD Examples:

This song begins with the following line: 卒業そつぎょうしてから、もう三度目さんどめはる [It’s already the third Spring since graduating]
Listen to this line from 0:58: このまち綿菓子わたがしいたゆきえれば、おまえがここをてからはじめてのはる [When the cotton-candy painted snow in this town disappears, it will be the first Spring since you left]
Listen to this line from 2:31: 一人ひとりなってから毎日まいにちいていた [I had been crying every day since I became alone]
Listen to this line from 1:00: きみってからはじめての小旅行しょうりょこう、すこしれるね [It’s our first trip since we started dating, It’s a little awkward]

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