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

Posted by on March 9, 2021 – Japanese Study
how to use jlpt n2 ageku 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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