Hey everyone, welcome to today’s amazing Japanese lesson. We are now going to learn all about the Japanese phrase かと思ったら which means “just when I thought”. This is a very useful phrase to integrate into your Japanese language communication and is considered to be quite a high-level structure.

As soon as you master this, you will be able to impress all your Japanese friends or colleagues. Firstly, we are going to start by taking a look at the situations where you can use this phrase. Secondly, we will break down the grammar to show you how to use the structure. Next, we will be looking at some great example sentences so you can get used to using the phrases. Lastly, we will be looking at an effective technique that you can implement to help you practice today’s Japanese phrase.

Okay guys let’s get right into today’s online Japanese lesson.

 BondLingo - YouTube Premium MemberShip

When can I use this phrase?

So this phrase expresses the meaning of “just when; no sooner than”. You can use it when you just think something has happened, it has already finished. So basically, when you speak too soon.

Imagine when you think you are ready to relax and the phone rings.

“Just as I thought I could relax, the phone rang”

“Just when I thought we were friends; he went and did this to me”

“Just when I thought he has arrived; he had already left.”

These are the types of situations where “かと思ったら” comes in handy.

Now we are going to break down the grammar within this phrase to give you a deeper understanding of how the phrase is made up.

Breaking down the grammar rules

Let’s now take a look at the grammar in today’s phrase.

The elements used within this grammar point are as follows:

kaQuestion marker
思うomouVerb: to think
たらtaraAttach to verbs to indicate “when”

Now let’s take a look at this example sentence

Sora ga kuraku natta ka to omottara, hageshiku ame ga ori hajimeta
As soon as the sky turned black, it started raining heavily.

So as you can see here, the かと思う marks the questions or idea of what you thought happened / is happening. Then the たら adds the element of “when”. This is lastly followed by what actually happened.

It can be quite hard to grasp at first.

However, the best way to remember it is “Just when I thought X, Y happened.

We are now going to look at some example sentences to help you really digest the pattern and get used to reading these kinds of sentences.

Example Sentences with かと思ったら

Lets now have a look at some more example sentences. Be sure that you read these sentences out loud at least 4 – 5 times to allow you to really understand them.

Watashi ga doa o shimeta ka to omottara, neko ga doa o aketa
As soon as I thought I shut the door, a cat opened the door.
Otouto wa dekaketa ka to omottara, sugu wasuremono o tori ni kaettekita/ kaette kimashita.
As soon as my little brother left, she came back to get something she forgot.
Sono Oto wa kinjo no kōen kara kikoete iru no ka to omottara, soreha rajio no otodatta
Just when I thought I could hear a sound from the neighbourhood park, it was the sound of the Radio.

Ensure that you have read these sentences back to yourself before moving onto the next section, this is really important for your comprehension. 

Practice Method

So now that you have gotten used to hearing かと思ったら in various example sentences, we now need to look at a way to get you to start using the phrase.

Firstly, you are going to want to write down all of those sentences from today’s lesson. Start by swapping elements out from those sentences to make them your own. Once you are confident with that, you should start creating your own sentences. Try and create at least 6 of your own sentences to really make sure you are confident with the phrase,

After that, you should be able to now use this grammar structure seamlessly within your communication, try and use it as much as you can over the next week or so with your friends. 

Okay guys, so that is the end of today’s online Japanese lesson all about “かと思ったら”. We really hope that you enjoyed the lesson today and if you have any questions or ideas for new content that you would like us to write about, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We will see you again in the next online Japanese lesson from Bondlingo. またね.

 BondLingo - YouTube Premium MemberShip

Learn Japanese Online with BondLingo

Learn Japanese Online with BondLingo

Study in Japan?

Study in Japan?


The first 30 Japanese phrases that people learn
The Solar System in Japanese