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Are all these sentences grammatically correct? 食べたかったけど、食べる時間がない。 - Feed Post by zeto

Are all these sentences grammatically correct?
posted by zeto

Comments 11

  • mog86uk
    I struggle with choices like this a lot. They all look both correct and wrong at the same time.

    1) 食べる時間がない。
    I think this is the 'most' correct, if not the only one that is correct. However, 寝る時間 means 'bedtime' and then it seems confusing; but I think this usage means time to eat, time to sleep, etc.

    2) 食べるの時間がない。
    I don't really remember seeing verbs written like this anywhere, even if it sort of sounds right. Sure, you get 食べるの, but I think you only see other particles after this の, like に, は or が.
    This の seems to be used if a topic or subject ends with the verb in nominal form, or another particle needs to be used on the nominal form of the verb.
    食べるのが大好き = I love eating.

    3) 食べることが時間がない。
    I think this one is likely to be grammatically incorrect. With the way those two が are used it feels like there are two subjects, or a subject within the predicate.

    I'm not sure any of that really makes sense. I tried to just write what I was thinking. I'm fairly sure '1' is the right choice in any case, but not so sure if the others are definitely 'grammatically incorrect'. :)
  • heika
    the second one doesn't sound as natural, and for the 3rd i'd put 時間 next to こと, other than the only problem is your tenses; if you started with past tense you should end with past tense.
  • zeto
    Thanks for the detailed responses. It seems I had forgotten about the proper tense on the second half of the sentence, thanks heika for pointing out.

    Assuming I had put in proper tenses then it would seem that the third sentence is the only one that's obviously grammatically incorrect according to mog because there were two subject modifiers in one sentence.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but now I think that sentence two is also correct because according to heika, "食べること時間がなかった" is a correct syntax. Which actually makes "食べるの時間がなかった" also correct because according to tae kim's grammar guide the ’の’ particle can be substituted to the ’こと’ and ’もの’ particles. But then again, I might be wrong.
  • Peacherine
    I have trouble with deciding which is right too! To us learners, they all seem reasonable since we can still get a meaning out of them, but we just don't know for sure!

    In your third sentence, I'll agree that the first が is unnecessary. But does the こと need to be there at all? As far as I know, verbs can directly modify nouns without anything in between, so why wouldn't just 食べる時間 be fine? In that case, sentence 3 is eliminated entirely since it'd be sentence 1.

    However, I know that adding こと onto a verb often turns it into something like the -ing gerund form of a verb in English, so... 食べること時間 would seem like "eating time" which almost seems reasonable...

    But ultimately I still think the こと isn't needed. Searching for both 食べる時間 and 食べること時間 on Google, the former gave valid results, but with こと, the results seemed not used the same way...

    Since I don't like relying on Google, I also checked an online Eng-Jp dictionary. http://eow.alc.co.jp/search?q=time+to+eat&ref=sa

    These results suggest 食べる時間 is more likely. I see several results that say something like 朝食を取る時間 (which would be a different approach, but maybe less questionably confusing!) but 食べる時間がなかった also showed up.

    Ultimately, I'd lean toward 食べる時間 myself, or change the sentence to just say 時間がなかった since it's implied you mean time to eat anyway, based on the first half of the sentence. Sorry my answer got so long!
  • Peacherine
    Ah! I didn't address the second sentence at all!

    But for the same reasons I feel こと is unneeded, の probably isn't either. The times I've used or seen verb + こと/の form have been on their own, like 走ることが好き、 not before another noun.

    Also, looking at this page, you can see most of the results are just verb + 時間. http://eow.alc.co.jp/search?q=have+time+to

    I'd still pick #1 as the most likely choice. However, I can't say for sure the other two are incorrect; they just seem odd to me.
  • zeto
    I personally feel that when you translate these sentence literally: (食べる時間がなかった - Eating time, is the one that did not exist), (食べること時間がなかった - The event of eating time, is the one that did not exist); the third sentence feels about right as the first when you get the literal translation. But without doubt, the first sentence is confirmed to be grammatically correct. My concern lies to the latter.

    If no one can confirm this yet, I guess I'll still consider the third one to be "technically correct".
  • mog86uk
    As for 食べること時間, I'm not sure this is grammatically correct? or at least it probably does not have the intended meaning.
    I would have thought you would definitely need a particle after the noun phrase 食べること before another noun?
    You can find examples without particles on the internet, but they may just be dropping a particle as part of casual language?

    Also, at first I was going to say the tenses have to match, but then I wasn't so sure they definitely have to?...

    CURRENTLY: I wanted to eat, but I don't have time (to eat).

    PAST: I wanted to eat, but I didn't have time (to eat).
    - This sounds to me like something has changed, and you do have time to eat now?

    PRESENT: I want to eat, but I don't have time (to eat).
    - This sounds to me like you've only just begun wanting to eat, and were not wanting to eat before now?

    CURRENTLY it sounds to me like you've been wanting to eat for a while, but you haven't had time and still don't have time.
    To get this meaning across, would you have to say both PAST and PRESENT sentences one after the other?

    Maybe in Japanese you only say either PAST or PRESENT and it's left vague?
    Maybe in English the current sentence isn't even grammatically correct? lol. I'm from England and I don't even know that for sure! :P
  • mog86uk
    Also, I was going to ask why you even need 食べる again in the second part of the sentence?
    I'm fairly sure it's not necessary in Japanese, to say it again in this sentence?

    However, if another example was given without 食べ in the first part of the sentence, then 食べる would still be needed in the second part.
    And then we would still be trying to answer the same questions as now anyway.
    So this point about maybe not needing to say 食べる twice wasn't really necessary to bring up. :)
  • Peacherine
    mog86uk: But if 食べたい weren't in the first part of the sentence, it'd just be some other verb, so the question still remains I think : ) Whatever we're talking about, sleeping, reading, dancing, these example sentences have the form of "I wanted to ---, but I didn't have time to ---." So no matter what, the sentences have that repetitive element in them. Does that repetition need to be there? Probably not, in English or Japanese.

    I've also recently been considering your other point of the tense agreement in sentences. For example, is "I wanted to eat, but I don't have time" grammatically okay in English? That example may be strange to say, but what about something like "The professor talked about things I don't understand." The professor's actions are in the past, but the speaker is still currently in the state of not understanding....to me, it seems okay, but I don't know! ・_・; Despite enjoying English and learning grammar, I just don't know enough. Unfortunately, grammar classes in school focused more on basic things that people still mess up anyway, so ...

    Maybe I can try asking my Japanese friend about these sentences~
  • Peacherine
    Okay, I asked! One of my friends said that #1 is right, but that people don't use grammar like in #2 and #3. (Direct quote: 2と3みたいな言い方をすることはないよー(^^) )

    : ) Hope that helps~
  • zeto
    Your answers eliminated the vagueness. おかげさまでみんな。Also, thanks for the effort of asking a friend.