What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

一人や二人 / は

eeky

先輩
Joined
8 Jun 2010
Messages
2,431
Reaction score
22
Hi,

1. 「たぶん、シリウスの一人や二人、痛めつけたって、ヴォルデモートは何とも感じないんだろ」

What is the purpose of の一人や二人? As far as I can tell, no one other than Sirius and Voldemort should be mentioned in the statement. Is 一人や二人 an idiom of some kind?

2. 「どうやってかはわからない」

What is the purpose of は in this sentence? What would be the difference if it was removed? Is it adding emphasis?
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,265
Reaction score
3,416
1)
Yes, it's an idiom to represent that the topic is insignificant.
e.g.
一つや二つくれてもいいだろ
一回や二回失敗したぐらいじゃ怒らない
一時間や二時間遅れたぐらいで文句を言うな

2)
It's contrastive. The speaker don't know how it's done (but can imagine why/when it's done, who did it, etc.).
 

eeky

先輩
Joined
8 Jun 2010
Messages
2,431
Reaction score
22
1)
Yes, it's an idiom to represent that the topic is insignificant.
e.g.
一つや二つくれてもいいだろ
一回や二回失敗したぐらいじゃ怒らない
一時間や二時間遅れたぐらいで文句を言うな
Thanks Toritoribe, these examples seem more straightforward to me as they seem to correspond to common English expressions such as "once or twice", "an hour or two", and so on. シリウスの一人や二人 looks weird to me in comparison. Can you think of any way of putting it into English so it makes any sense at all (even if not necessarily very natural)?
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,265
Reaction score
3,416
Not in English, but シリウスのような人間の一人や二人 makes more sense, perhaps?
 
Top Bottom