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Thread: About 背を向ける

  1. #1
    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner xNothingx's Avatar
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    About 背を向ける

    Hi, I have come to a problem today about 背を向ける

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...13-08_0230.jpg
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    I know Xに背を向ける means "to turn back on X". But today I saw Xから背を向ける and I could not find any explanations about this structure.

    So what I want to ask is, does Xに背を向ける and Xから背を向ける have the same meaning or the opposite one?
    Last edited by xNothingx; September 06, 2013 at 01:28 AM. Reason: I got it now

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    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member Aarowaim's Avatar
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    Re: About 背を向ける

    Looks like you're a bit confused, so I'll do my best to help dispel it. First of all, general experience in Japanese, which you no doubt possess, gives us the distinction between the two particles: に roughly means 'at/towards', while から roughly means 'from'. I do not recommend studying language by its grammatical structure, as it never prepares you for the subtleties of the language. A human parses ideas, a machine parse grammar. Please don't try to think like a machine. Moving on, in the page you have, the rough outline is "you've come this far, but you're going to turn your back from democracy?".

    Now, the explanation:
    から is used because it implies movement from A to B. に however, simply points at A. Your sentence is very 'loose' (lacking direct connection between each idea). It roughly is made of three different thoughts, thrown together:
    ここまで来る + 民主主義から + 背を向ける
    Anytime that you see て form, or a で particle, it marks a very loose sentence that isn't really complete. On the page, ここまできて is equivalent to 'having come this far (up to here)...'. Then, 民主主義から, which is equivalent to 'from democracy'. Then 背を向けるというのか!?, which is 'are you trying to say you will turn away?'

    Put it all together and you get, 'Are you seriously turning away from democracy, even though you've come this far!?'

    に背を向ける means literally to point your back at something; not to look at it, deal with it, face it, or interact with it. With the に particle, you are directly trying to ignore something and give it the cold shoulder. から背を向ける is less direct, e.g, if you happened to ignore one friend, but not because you hated them (maybe a family crisis is distracting you, or you're busy).


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    Last edited by Aarowaim; September 06, 2013 at 01:23 AM.
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  4. #3
    Translator/Moderator 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member
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    Re: About 背を向ける

    Quote Originally Posted by xNothingx View Post
    So what I want to ask is, does Xに背を向ける and Xから背を向ける have the same meaning or the opposite one?
    Same meaning. To me, から (kara) is more colloquial. I would always use に (ni) in writing.

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