Speaking of Subway, I often pick a footlong after lunch and keep it in the fridge at work. I get super hungry right around 6, so they’re nice to have on days when I have to work overtime. After the boss man has left (“the Syach,” as we like to call him), I sneak over to the tables that are cubicled off in the corner of the office and eat half. I save the other half for a little later when everyone has gone. (Quick sidenote: in Japan, a full sandwich is listed as 30cm but still gets the designation フットロング.)
On Monday I was eating the first half of my sandwich, just staring out the window, when one of the Sales guys peeked his head in and laughed. I think I mumbled something like ごめんなさい, and he said いえいえ、誰かな～と思って… and then left.
The meaning of what he said is pretty straight forward here. Literally “Who is that? I thought…” Or in more natural English, “I was wondering who that was…” The point I’d like to make is that this is not a complete sentence in Japanese. He easily could have said 誰かなと思った, but instead it ends on a gerund, and much like the で discussed last week, there is a bit of causality implied. This makes more sense when you fill in the final clause of the sentence: 誰かなと思って、顔を覗かせた。In natural English, “I just peeked in wondering who was in here” or maybe “I just wanted to see who was in here.” (Other alternative second clauses include, ここに入ってきた or ちょっと見てきた.)
The point is that while the gerund clause modifies the implied, invisible clause, it’s the main point of the sentence since the implied, invisible clause is obvious to both parties. Most excellent. It also reminds me that you could probably go a whole day in Japan using only gerunds. Reminds me of my No 僕 Challenge, but I’m too lazy to try this one.
And for those who didn’t recognize the title, Geaux Saints!