How to use 次第 ( = しだい= shidai)

「着替えが終わり次第レッスンします。」

= Kigae ga owari shidai ressun shimasu.

= I will start the lesson as soon as I finish changing my outfit.

 

「僕のように日本語がうまくなるかどうかはみんなの努力次第です。」

= Boku no you ni nihongo ga umaku naru ka douka wa minna no doryoku shidai desu.

= Whether your Japanese gets as good as mine or not depends on your efforts.

 

Hi everyone!

I am your guest teacher today, Charlie.  I am 15 years “young” and love playing with catnip and napping outside!

よろしくね! = Yoroshiku ne! = Nice to meet you!

We are going to learn the usage of 次第 ( = しだい = shidai) today.

1) verb masu-stem / noun  + 次第 ( = しだい= shidai) 、〜:   as soon as ~  one will do something.

2) ( ( = wa)  or  verb ( = ka)  verb negative form ~ないかは ( = ~ nai kawa) ) +  noun + 次第 ( = しだい= shidai) + ( = da) です ( = desu) : ~ depends on + (noun) / It’s up to ~

3) noun + 次第 ( = しだい= shidai) で(は)( = dewa)  〜:  depending on ~

When you talk about some change/possibility depending on ~ / You decide depending on

4) 次第に ( = しだいに= shidaini)  = gradually

5) ~ 次第: to explain the reason why one did something, why something happened or the process how things happened, what happened

****

Let’s look at the usage by looking at these example sentences.

1) verb masu-stem / noun  + 次第 ( = しだい= shidai) 、〜:   as soon as ~  one will do something.

 :n: How to form:

* verb masu-stem + 次第 ( = しだい= shidai)

Ex. 駅に着き次第、電話をください。(formal)

= Eki ni tsuki shidai, denwa wo kudasai.

= Please give me a call as soon as you get to the station.

* noun + 次第 ( = しだい= shidai)

Ex. 空港に到着次第、そちらに伺います。(formal)

= Kuukou ni touchaku shidai, sochira ni ukagaimasu.

= As soon as I arrive at the airport, I will go visit you.

Note 1) 次第 ( = しだい= shidai) a formal expression.

You can rephrase it with

V (1) たらすぐ(に) V(2) ( = V(1) tara sugu ( ni) V(2)) = as soon as V (1),  V(2)  which is more conversational.

 :rrrr: 駅に着いたらすぐに電話ちょうだい。(conversational)

= Eki ni tsuitara sugu ni denwa choudai.

= Give me a call as soon as you get to the station.

 :rrrr: 空港に着いたらすぐにそっちに行くね。conversational

= Kuukou ni tsuitara sugu ni socchi ni iku ne.

= I’ll go there (to where you are) as as soon as I get to the airport.  

****

Ex. A:「マギー先生、新しいレッスンはいつ作るんですか?」

= A: “Maggie Sensei, atarashii ressun wa itsu tsukurun desu ka?”

= A: “When are you going to make a new lesson, Maggie Sensei?”

マギー: 「夏休みが終わり次第、作り始めます。」

= Maggie: “Natsuyasumi ga owari shidai, tsukuri hajimemasu.

= Maggie: “I’m going to start working on it as soon as summer vacation is over.”

Note 2) You usually use 次第 ( = shidai) when you are talking about planned futures. It would sound unnatural to use in the past tense or for  an unexpected event/action.

For example, if you want to say:

“I made a lesson as soon as the summer vacation was over.”

It is unnatural to say,

X 夏休みが終わり次第、レッスンを作った。

= Natsuyasumi ga owari shidai, ressun wo tsukutta.

Instead, you say:

 :rrrr: 夏休みが終わったらすぐにレッスンを作った。

= Natsuyasumi ga owattara sugu ni ressun wo tsukutta.

“Once I soaked in the bathtub, I fell asleep.”

X お風呂に入り次第、眠ってしまった。Not natural.)

= Ofuro ni hairi shidai, nemutte shimatta.

You say,

 :rrrr: お風呂に入ったらすぐに眠ってしまった。

= Ofuro ni haittara sugu ni nemutte shimatat.

****

You use 次第 ( = shidai) a lot in business conversation/letters.

Ex. 荷物が届き次第お知らせします。

= Nimotsu ga todoki shidai oshirase shimasu.

= I will let you know as soon as I get a package.

Ex. ご入金を確認次第、商品を送ります。

= Gonyuukin wo kakunin shidai, shouhin wo okurimasu.

= As soon as we confirm your payment (or deposit) , we will send you the products.

Ex. 田中*はただいま、会議に出ております。会議が終わり次第、お電話するように伝えます。

= Tanaka wa tadaima, kaigi ni dete orimasu. Kaigi ga owari shidai, odenwa suru you ni tsutaemasu.

= Mr. Tanaka is now at the meeting. I will tell him to call you back as soon as the meeting is over.

(*In business, when you talk with your clients, you don’t refer to your coworkers or even your boss with さん ( = san). You either use their family names or their job titles.)

Ex. 仕事が終わり次第LINE*します。

= Shigoto ga owari shidai, rain shimasu.

= I will LINE you as soon as I finish my work.

(*Line is a messaging app in Japan.)

Ex. 雨が止み次第、出発します。

= Ame ga yami shidai, shuppatsu shimasu.

= I am leaving as soon as it stops raining.

Ex. 詳細が決まり次第、ご連絡いたします。

= Shousai ga kimari shidai, gorenraku itashimasu.

= I’ll / We’ll contact you as soon as all the details are finalized.

Note: You use verb-masu stem before 次第 ( = shidai)

Ex. 来る= kuru = to come

 :rrrr: masu form 来ます= きます= kimasu

 :rrrr: delete ます ( = masu) 来 (=  ki)

 :rrrr: add 次第 ( = shidai)

 :rrrr: 次第 = kishidai =  as soon as something/someone comes

Exceptions: You don’t use masu-stem with some honorific verbs, like いらっしゃる ( = irassharu), おっしゃる ( = ossharu), and なさる ( = nasaru) .

The masu-form of   いらっしゃる ( = irassharu) to come, to beis

いらっしゃいます ( = irasshaimasu) but instead of using that, you use

いらっしゃり ( = irasshari) + 次第 ( = shidai)

 :rrrr: いらっしゃり次第 ( = irasshari shidai) = as soon as someone superior comes

Likewise:

おっしゃる ( = ossharu) to say something

masu form is おっしゃいます ( = osshaimasu) but you say

 :rrrr: おっしゃり ( = osshari) + 次第 ( = shidai)

 :rrrr: おっしゃり次第 ( = ossharishidai) as soon as someone superior says something

And:

なさる ( = nasaru) to do  

masu form is なさいます = nasaimasu)   but you say

 :rrrr: なさり ( = nasari)  + 次第 ( = shidai)

 :rrrr: なさり次第 ( = nasarishidai) as soon as someone superior does something

Ex. お客様がいらっしゃり次第、お茶をお出ししてください。

= Okyakusama ga irasshari shidai, ocha wo odashi shite kudasai.

= Please serve tea as soon as our guests arrive.

2) (〜は ( = wa)  or verb ( = ka)  verb negative form ~ないかは ( = ~ nai kawa) ) +  noun + 次第 ( = しだい = shidai) + ( = da) です ( = desu) : ~ depends on + (noun) / It’s up to ~

Ex. キャンプに行くか行かないかは天気次第だ。

= Kyanpu ni iku ka ikanai ka wa tenki shidai da.

= Whether we go camping or not depends on the weather.

Ex. コンサートのチケットが取れるか取れないかは運次第だ。

= Konnsaato no chiketto ga toreru ka torenai ka wa un shidai da.

= Whether I can get a ticket for the concert or not depends on luck.

Ex. 店員:「こちらの新商品はいかがですか?とても便利な機能がついています。」

= Ten-in: “Kochira no shinshouhin wa ikaga desu ka? Totemo benri na kinou ga tsuite imasu.”

= Shop clerk: “How about this new product? It has a very useful function.”

:「よさそうですね。でもお値段次第です。」

= Yosasou desune. Demo onedan shidai desu.

= It looks good, but it depends on the price.

Ex. この仕事を受けるかどうかは条件次第だ。

= Kono shigoto wo ukeru ka dou ka wa jouken shidai da.

= Whether I take this job or not depends on the condition.

Ex. ひろし:「お父さん、新しいゲーム、買ってくれる?」

= Hiroshi: “Otousan, atarashii geemu katte kureru?

= Hiroshi: “Dad, can you buy me a new game?”

父:「ひろしの成績次第だよ。」

= Chichi: “Hiroshi no seiseki shidai dayo.”

= Father: It depends on your grades, Hiroshi.”

Ex. それは自分の腕次第だ。

= Sore wa jibun no ude shidai da.

= It depends on your skill.

There is a cliché from a urban legends TV show,

信じるか信じないかはあなた次第です。

= Shinjiru ka shinjinai ka wa anata shidai desu.

= Whether you believe it or not is up to you.

3) noun + 次第 ( = しだい = shidai) で(は)( = dewa)  〜:  depending on ~

When you talk about some change/possibility depending on ~ / You decide depending on

Ex. 台風の進路次第で旅行がキャンセルになるかもしれません。

= Taifuu no shinro shidai de ryokou ga kyanseru ni naru kamo shiremasen.

= Depending on the course of the typhoon, my trip might be cancelled.

Ex. 明日の気分次第で出かけるかどうか決めます。

= Ashita no kibun shidai de dekakeru ka douka kimemasu.

= I will decide whether I go out or not depending on the mood tomorrow.

Ex. 試験の結果次第では追試になるかもしれない。

= Shiken no kekka shidai de wa tsuishi ni naru kamo shirenai.

= I might have to take another exam depending on the result.

Ex. 交渉次第でもっと安く買えるかもしれない。

= Koushoushidai de motto yasuku kaeru kamo shirenai.

= I might be able to buy it/them cheaper depending on the negotiation.

Ex. 自分の考え方次第で将来は変わります。

= Jibun no kangaekata shidai de shourai wa kawarimasu.

= Your future will change depending on your way of thinking.

Ex. 自分の人生をどう生きるかは自分次第だ。

= Jibun no jinsei wo dou ikiru ka wa jibun shidai da.

= You decide how you live.

4) 次第に ( = しだいに= shidaini)  = gradually, little by little

When you describe some gradual change, you use 次第に ( = しだいに= shidaini)

Since it describes the change, you use the verbs to show the change.

(Ex. Vていった/Vてきた= V-teitta/  V-tekita)

Ex. 空が次第に暗くなってきた。

= Sora ga shidai ni kuraku natte kita.

= The sky is getting darker.

Ex. それ以来、彼は次第に無口になっていった

= Sore irai, kare wa shidai ni mukuchi ni natte itta.

= Since then, he became quieter.

Ex. 高校時代の友達とは次第に疎遠になっていった。

= Koukou jidai ni tomodachi towa shidai ni soen ni natte itta.

= I have gradually lost contact with my friends from high school.

Ex. 新しい彼女に出会ってから失恋の痛みを次第に忘れていった。

= Atarashii kanojo ni deatte kara shitsuren no itami wo shidai ni wasurete itta.

= I started getting over my broken heart since I got a new girlfriend.

**

Idiomatic expression

* 手当たり次第/ 手当たり次第 = teatari shidai ni/ teatari shidai = randomly / anything /anyone that one can lay one’s hand on

Ex. 手当たり次第に日本語の本を読んで勉強した。

= Teatarishidai ni nihongo no hon wo yonde benkyou shita.

= I studied by reading any Japanese books I could get my hands on.

Ex. お腹が空いたので冷蔵庫の中の食べ物を手当たり次第(に)食べた。

= Onaka ga suita node reizouko no naka no tabemono wo teatarishidai (ni) tabeta.

= I was getting hungry so I ate anything I could lay my hand on in the fridge.

Ex. 手当たり次第にその辺にあるものを入れてカレーを作った。

= Teatari shidai ni sono hen ni aru mono wo irete karee wo tsukutta.

= I made curry using whatever was handy.

5) ~ 次第: to explain the reason why one did something, why something happened or the process how things happened, what happened.

It is a very formal usage so you only hear it in formal conversation.

Ex. 上司に事の次第を話す。

= Joushi ni koto no shidai wo hanasu.

= To tell one’s boss how something happened. (process/cause)

Ex. 道が混んでいて遅れたという次第です。(formal)

= Michi ga konde ite okureta to iu shidai desu.

= I was late because there was a traffic.

Note: It is a formal expression, so you use it when you talk to someone superior.

It sounds more formal than saying

道が混んでいたので遅れました。

= Michi ga konde ita node okuremashita.

Ex. ちょうどこの辺に参りましたので伺った次第です。(formal)

= Choudo kono hen ni mairimashita node ukagatta shidai desu.

= I stopped by because I happened to be in this area.

***

マギー先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

Charlie先生、ありがとう!

= Charlie Sensei, arigatou!

= Thank you, Charlie Sensei!

私は、昼寝が終わり次第、晩ご飯を食べます。😋

= Watashi wa, hirune ga owari shidai, bangohan wo tabemasu.

= As soon as I finish napping, I will have dinner.

***

I REALLY appreciate your support!  サポートありがとう! !CHECKHEART! 

My supporters can access  audio files for many lessons on my Patreon page and some mini lessons and quiz.

Audio Files for this lesson

:rrrr:   Click here.

 

Become a Patron!




***

I REALLY appreciate your support!  サポートありがとう! !CHECKHEART! 

My supporters can access  audio files for many lessons on my Patreon page and some mini lessons and quiz.

Audio Files for this lesson

:rrrr:    Click here.

Become a Patron!




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10 Comments

  1. Hello Maggie sensei,

    Could you help to check my sentences.
    I want to use 次第 to express the meaning “As soon as”.

    1/ その商品を買い次第、チームに共有します。
    As soon as we buy this product, we’ll share it to the team

    2/ 方針を決め次第、プロジェクトを始めます。
    As soon as we decide the strategy, we’ll start the project

    3/ みんながそろい次第、出発しよう。
    As soon as everyone is here, we’ll go.

    Thanks my Lady.

      1. ありがとうございました!

        I have another question.
        Can I replace my sentences wtih 上で。

        1/ その商品を買い次第、チームに共有します。
        その商品を買った上で、チームに共有します。

        2/ 方針を決め次第、プロジェクトを始めます。
        方針を決めた上で、プロジェクトを始めます。

        What is the difference between 上で and 次第。
        Thanks my Lady.

        1. Hi again,

          You can say all the sentences (besides チームに共有→チームで共有します/チームと共有します。)
          But the nuance is different
          次第 as soon as
          上で after doing something

  2. I just wanted to say thank you for all of these amazing lessons for so many years. I’ve earned so much from you and now I live in Japan! You helped me get here and help me continue on my way to fluency.

    Thank you for all you do!

    1. Hello John!
      日本へようこそ!
      Welcome to Japan!
      Thank YOU for your nice message.
      Now it is time to use what you have learned. (^_−)−☆
      がんばって!&日本の生活を楽しんでください!

    1. Hi Dwi
      Is it from my Twitter word today?
      財布がすっからかん You are emphasizing the state of 財布
      If you are giving a general idea, (the usual state of one’s wallet, 私の財布はいつもすっからかんです。)

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