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We cannot determine yet whether this sentence was initially derived from translation or not.

#265907

linked by an unknown member, date unknown

手に入らなかった。

added by an unknown member, date unknown

#1622985

linked by zipangu, June 12, 2012 at 3:11 PM

#1637273

linked by Biga, June 20, 2012 at 8:18 PM

#2121416

linked by Pfirsichbaeumchen, January 4, 2013 at 9:03 AM

#2121418

linked by Pfirsichbaeumchen, January 4, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Sentence #148653

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Comments

Pfirsichbaeumchen Pfirsichbaeumchen June 16, 2012 at 9:55 PM June 16, 2012 at 9:55 PM link Permalink

It means 'I couldn't get it' in the sense of 'I couldn't obtain it'.

Biga Biga June 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM June 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM link Permalink

But why is it "couldn't", not "didn't"?
I believe "couldn't" is 'irenakatta', and 'iranakatta' is "didn't".

My skills in both English and Japanese aren't any good, so I would be happy if someone explain this to me.

Shadd Shadd June 17, 2012 at 2:05 PM June 17, 2012 at 2:05 PM link Permalink

You're right. 入らなかった is a plain past form, it's not a potential form as it should be.
I have doubts about the sentence in general though. I'm by no means experienced enough with japanese but I've never seen this expression.

Pfirsichbaeumchen Pfirsichbaeumchen June 17, 2012 at 2:21 PM June 17, 2012 at 2:21 PM link Permalink

It actually means '(It) did not get into (my) hands', the subject being the thing that one failed to obtain. One usually expresses oneself like that. Of course it is not exactly literal.

In order to say 'I could not' one would have to rephrase it like '(watasi ha sore wo) te ni irerarenakatta' or '(watasi ha sore wo) te ni ireru koto ga dekinakatta', using 'ireru' instead of 'hairu', as you suggested, but since the English sentence is so short and colloquial, I wonder if it isn't good the way it is now.

Anyway, I would ask bunbuku, mookeee or someone else to comment on this as well.

mookeee mookeee June 20, 2012 at 8:04 PM June 20, 2012 at 8:04 PM link Permalink

This expression is commonly used when you tried to get something but couldn't.

I think the English matches the Japanese.