Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 7: 2/21


Then again, Just when I thought, No sooner than


Verb[た](1) + (おも)たら(2)
Noun + (おも)たら(2)

(1) Verb[る]
(2) (おも)(おも)


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About かと思ったら・かと思うと

When the adverbial particle か is combined with と, the う-Verb (おも)う, and either of the hypothetical markers たら or と, it forms a compound that is used to illustrate uncertainty about whether (A) has been finalized or not. In most cases, this translates as '(A), then again (B)', 'just when I thought (A), (B)', or 'no sooner than (A), (B)'. Literally, the meaning is close to 'before (A) could even be confirmed as having happened, (B)'.
かと(おも)うと and かと(おも)ったら will regularly appear after verbs in either their dictionary or past-tense forms.
  • (なに)()()かと(おも)ったら、みんなの(まえ)(おれ)悪口(わるぐち)()()した。
    Just when I thought of something to say, he started bad-mouthing me in front of everyone.
  • (あか)ちゃんが()()んだかと(おも)ったら、また大声(おおごえ)()(はじ)めた。
    Just when I thought the baby had stopped crying, he started to cry loudly again.
  • (むすめ)宿題(しゅくだい)(はじ)めるのかと(おも)うと、パソコンを(ひら)いてユーチューブを()(はじ)めた。
    Just when I thought my daughter was going to start doing her homework, she opened the computer and started watching YouTube.
  • 子供(こども)(ころ)んだかと(おも)うと()()がって(はし)()した。
    Just when I thought my kid fell down, she got up and started running.
Alternatively, this structure may also be seen following nouns, especially when the meaning is focused on the speaker's feelings about (A).
  • 田中(たなか)さんは(つめ)たい(ひと)かと(おも)ったら、ただ人見知(ひとみし)りなだけだった。
    No sooner than thinking that Tanaka-san is a cold person, I found out that he was just shy.
  • 今日(きょう)試合(しあい)最後(さいご)かと(おも)うと(かな)しくなる。
    Just when I remembered that today's game is the last one, I got sad.
Either なの (or の when used with verbs) may appear between the target phrase and かと(おも)ったら when the (B) phrase includes the speaker's feelings.
Caution - Occasionally, か may be omitted from this phrase, leaving only (おも)うと and (おも)ったら. Although the meaning is exactly the same, omission of the か will make the expression sound softer.
  • 新入(しんじん)社員(しゃいん)(はい)ってきた(おも)ったら(つぎ)()には仕事(しごと)()めていた。
    Just when I thought a new employee had joined us, he had quit by the next day.
  • 息子(むすこ)息子(むすこ)友達(ともだち)喧嘩(けんか)をしている(おも)うと友達(ともだち)とゲラゲラ(わら)いながらゲームをしていた。
    Just when I thought that my son and his friend were fighting, I heard him giggling while playing video games with his friend.


  • (かれ)あれだけ(おこ)られて(かな)しんでいるかと(おも)ったら、すぐに(わら)いだした。

    Just when I thought that alone would make him so mad he would get sad, he started laughing.

  • 喧嘩(けんか)をしていた彼女(かのじょ)は、機嫌(きげん)がよくなったかと(おも)ったらすぐに(わる)くなった。

    Just when I thought that the fighting woman's mood had improved, it got worse.

  • 仕事(しごと)をし(はじ)かと(おも)携帯(けいたい)電話(でんわ)(さわ)(はじ)めた。

    No sooner than work began, he started using his cell phone.

  • ミスが(つづ)いたのであきれられたかと(おも)ったらそうでもなかった。

    Just when I thought they would grow disgusted of their continued mistakes, they didn't.

  • ()まで(ゆず)らないタイプの(ひと)かと(おも)ったら、かなり柔軟(じゅうなん)(ひと)でした。

    Just when I thought he was the type of person who wouldn't surrender to the end, he turned out to be soft.

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