Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 8: 3/22


Only, Just, No more than


たった + ()+ Number


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About たった(の)

たった is a common adverb in Japanese that originates from an emphasized alteration of (ただ) 'only', 'merely'. たった keeps the same meaning of ただ in that it just expresses that something is 'only (A)', 'just (A)', or 'no more than (A)'.
This nuance is usually used when the actual number of (A) is exceptionally low compared to the speaker's expectation of anticipation. たった will often appear at the beginning of sentences, and will either modify the whole sentence, or a specific number when followed by の and then that number.
  • 先輩(せんぱい)たった(いま)東京(とうきょう)(えき)()きました。
    Senpai, I arrived at Tokyo station just now.
  • (ぼく)たった一人(ひとり)でここまで(ある)いてきたのかい?(えら)いね!
    Kid, you walked here all alone? I'm proud of you!
  • クラスメイト全員(ぜんいん)招待(しょうたい)したのに、たったの(にん)しか(ぼく)誕生日(たんじょうび)パーティーにこなかった。
    I invited everyone in my class, but only 3 people showed up to my birthday party.
  • このホテルからビーチまでの距離(きょり)たったの10メートルです!
    It's merely 10 meters in distance from this hotel to the beach!
As たった is an adverb that is usually used for emphasis, it often accompanies other similar grammar patterns like だけ, しか, etc.
Fun-fact - The common expression ただいま 'now', or 'I'm home' may occasionally be seen in the emphasized form たったいま. This is primarily when the meaning is 'now', or 'just now' (right at this present moment), rather than 'I'm home'.
  • その電車(でんしゃ)たった(いま)出発(しゅっぱつ)したので(つぎ)電車(でんしゃ)()るまで少々(しょうしょう)()ちください。
    That train has just departed, so please wait until the next train arrives.


  • 友達(ともだち):「千円(せんえん)()してくれる?」

    Friend1: 'Can you lend me 1000 yen?'
    Friend2: 'I only have 500 on me.'

    • そうさん:「ケーキ出来(でき)ました。」

      Souma: 'The cake is done.'
      Erina: 'Wha?! You finished it just in 5 minutes?!'

      • 自分(じぶん)子供(こども)について母親(ははおや):「ケビンはずっと、たったひとりで(いえ)にいた!!」

        Mother, about her son: 'Kevin was at home all alone the whole time!'

        たった一人で is a very common phrase.

        • ライフスタイルに(かん)するウェブニュースのタイトル(めい):「(かあ)さんたった665(えん)()放題(ほうだい)(はは)()プレゼント」

          Title of a web-news article in relation to lifestyle: 'The moms' all-you-can-eat is just 665 yen! Mother's Day present.'

          • (かれ)たった1(ひとり)兄弟(きょうだい)です。」

            'He is my only sibling.'

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            たった(の) – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (6 in total)

            • FredKore


              Maybe you can think of it as:
              彼は – As for me, As for my situation
              たった一人の兄弟です – it is just a one-brother [situation]

              Just like when you answer あなたの家族は?
              You could answer: お父さん、お母さん、弟です。
              In other words, how you define “your family”.
              (You could say that the translation is not the best, but it’s using more natural English than “My ‘brothers’ is defined by just one brother”.)

              My feeling is when you use いる you’re describing something more immediate, like “they are here right now in the other room” (not entirely sure though).

            • rikvg


              Duh. Watashi wa ringo desu.
              I’ve known this since day four of studying Japanese.
              But I somehow forgot along the way.

              Thanks for explaining so patiently you guys.

            • mrnoone


              @rikvg @FredKore @nekoyama
              Hey guys!

              I changed the translation to “He is my only sibling(brother)”.
              I feel its closer to the original intention.


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