はなが( A )あと ( B )みが なります。
For ( A ): a.さいた b.さいて c.さき d.さく
For ( B ): a.、(a comma) b.で c.に d.は

The intended meaning is: “After it blooms, it bears a fruit” and the correct answer for A is a.さいた. The most important thing to remember with 後(あと) is, the verb directly before 後(あと) has to be in the past plain form even if you are talking about a future event.

For B, all 4 answers are correct but the meanings are slightly different from one another.

~あと、 and ~あとで

are about the same. あと、 and あとで are more about the order of events, so they are merely saying はながさく occurs first and みがなる occurs sometime after that.


c. はないたあとがなります is quite different. If is used after あと, that shows either of the following 2:

  1. not only describes the order of events but also it suggests there is a “cause and effect” relationship between them. In this example, はながさく is the cause of みがなる.
  2. the second action occurs almost immediately after the first. There is no other event happening between the 2 mentioned.

My brother came home immediately after my father went out.

Take this medicine after you eat dinner. (In this case, it would be OK to have a short break between the last bite and taking the medicine, but you should take the medicine before you start doing something else like washing up or watching TV.)


The は in あとは is used to emphasize はないたあと, so it’s more like “What happens after it blooms is that it bears fruit.”

は is a topic marker, so you can think “after flower opens” is the topic.


Reading the explanation above, can you tell the nuance difference between the following pairs?

A: 刺身さしみべたあと気分きぶんわるくなりました。
B: 刺身さしみべたあと気分きぶんわるくなりました。
Both are saying “I started to feel ill after eating sashimi” but while A is just describing the timing, B implies that I suspect sashimi was the cause of feeling ill.

C: ははあとちちかえってきた。
D: ははあとちちかえってきた。
Again, both are saying, “Mum went to bed and then Dad came home,” but while C is just describing the order of events, D sounds like there is something more to tell like “Mum missed out something” or “Dad had avoided seeing Mum” or something like that…

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