in the blink of an eye

The Japanese Grammar database

あっと言う間 ([あっというま] )(atto iu ma)
Meaning: In a flash, before one knows it, in a blink of an eye, in no time, flash by, (time) flies 時間が自分のと思うより早かったの意味です
Example: Time flies when you’re having fun
JLPT Level: 3
Category: grammar
Author: tigert

[ Edit This Grammar Entry ]

I`m not sure if this should be entered as grammar or as vocabulary, but it is a very important saying. Japan has a lot of set phrases and in order to sound natural its best to memorize as many as you can.

あっという間 lit. translates to
"In the middle of saying あぁ”

before you could finish your sentence time had run out

# Time "flew" by (lafcadio)
Sorry, # – Time "flew" by (lafcadio)
[ Add Note(s) ]

Note: visit WWWJDIC to lookup any unknown words found in the example(s)…
Alternatively, view this page on
ex #6663 あっという間に砂嵐に襲われた。
Before we knew where we were, the dust storm was on us.
ex #6664 あっという間に逃げてしまった。
He disappeared in an instant.
ex #6665 クリスマスの時期にはあっという間に満席になるから早く飛行機の蘭オなさい。
Book your flight early as it fills up quickly during Christmas.
ex #6666 tigert)
ex #7249 鳥はあっと言う間に飛び去った。
The bird flew away in a flash.
ex #7250 時間はあっと言う間に過ぎた。
Time flied by.
ex #7251 年月があっと言う間に過ぎた。
The years rolled on quickly.
ex #8641 あっと言う間彼は宿題をしました。
He did his homework in no time.

Help JGram by picking and editing examples!!

See Also:
[ Add a See Also ]
jae- In ex#:

The "と" after "使う", does it mean that the effect (i.e. getting into debt) is bound to happen if we use credit cards?

So can it be explained in this way?: (action that we take)と(effect).

Thanks in advance for any explanations given!

MorningCoffee I noticed that in all the other examples あっと言う間 is followed by に. In ex. 8641, however, it isn’t. Is this an error or is the に only used in certain cases?
Add Comment
Add Comment

Tip: link to other examples
by enclosing the english in
square brackets [like_this]

Add Entry to Your Study List
Choose the priority of studying you want to assign to this item from the drop-down select list and then hit the save button. This will be used for sorting your personal study list. If you wish to delete an entry that’s already in your list, just set the difficulty to ‘0’

IS NOT currently in your study list

Evernote helps you remember everything and get organized effortlessly. Download Evernote.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: