JLPT N2 Grammar – あげく (How to say "In the end"/"After all~" in Japanese)


Do you know how to say “after all” or “in the end” in Japanese?  In this blog post, we will look at a more advanced Japanese grammar point – JLPT N2 grammar: あげく (ageku), meaning “in the end”.
First watch Nami-sensei explain it in the video above, then review with this companion article. And be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel as well!

How to Use JLPT N2 Grammar: あげく

あげく (ageku) is an N2 Japanese grammar point that roughly translates to “after all”; “in the end”; “to end up”; “finally”.  This word is used when you have done something a lot, but ultimately has a disappointing or unsatisfactory result.
あげく (ageku) is also often used with words that emphasize various things, a long time, or an unfortunate experience or outcome.  Do not use it for short time-frames or matters that did not require much effort or preparation.
The form is:
Short form past (た form) + あげく
Or
Verbをする + の + あげく (例:話し合いをする→話し合いのあげく)
Noun + の + あげく
Let’s look at some examples!

Example 1

人気のラーメン店に3時間も並んだあげく、売り切れで食べられませんでした。
Ninki no raamen ten ni san jikan mo naranda ageku, uri kire de taberare masen deshita.
After standing in line for 3 hours at a popular ramen restaurant, we were not able to eat because it sold out.
In the example above, Nami-sensei was going to eat at a popular ramen restaurant.  But after waiting for 3 hours in line, in the end she and her friend were not able to eat!  The line ended with just a few people in front of her.
This outcome is extremely unfortunate, and she waited as long as 3 whole hours!  The grammar point あげく is used after the action that was going on for a long time, but before the unfortunate sentence ending.
Let’s look at another example!

Example 2

何日も指輪を探したあげく、結局見つかりませんでした。
nan’nichi mo yubiwa o sagashita ageku, kekkyoku mitsukarimasen deshita.
After days of looking for the ring, in the end I wasn’t able to find it.
In this example, Nami-sensei was searching quite a lot for her ring for several days.  But ultimately could not find it – which is an unfortunate outcome.
You can see the sentence structure follows: action that took a long time or much effort + あげく、 (ageku) + the unfortunate or unfavorable outcome.

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