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<< marude-2 | masakano >>

まさか [まさか] (masaka)
    Meaning: incredible!
    Example: Don't tell me you're quitting!
    JLPT Level: 1
    Category: grammar
    Author: dc

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ex #3069   まさか来るとは思わなかった。 
Did I ever expect you to come!  
ex #3070   まさか! 
Incredible !  
ex #4177   びっくりした!まさかこんなところで会うとは思わなかったよ。 
Oh my gosh! You're the last person I expected to meet in a situation like this.  
ex #4178   彼の言ったことはまさか本当であるとは思えない。 
What he said can scarcely be true.  
ex #6860   ロニーが日本語能力試験が合格したと聞いて先生つい「まさか」と言い出しました。 
Teacher automatically uttered, "Masaka!" when he heard that Ronny cleared the test.  

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deweychetham真逆 [まさか] (adv) (uk) by no means, (P)
まさか (adv) never!, well, I never!, you don't say!
真 [ま] (n,pref) just, right, due (east), pure, genuine, true, (P)
逆 [ぎゃく] (adj-na,n) reverse, opposite, (P)
逆さ [さかさ] (n) reverse, inversion, upside down, (P)
In English: "directly opposite"

bamboo4まさか coupled with negative or denial expresses unexpected hypothetical case. Synonimous with よもや or いくらなんでも.
yookosoV-plain + とは思う is used in most of the examples above - does that deserve its own JGram entry?  
nhk9I think using only まさか can have the connotation of "no way"... the "nai" is often left unsaid.

A: 彼がもう結婚しちゃったって
B: まさか(そういうことあるわけないだろう)
I agree with nhk9さん、but i think that should be under the entry of まさか/まさか〜ないだろう
which literally " it can't be that 〜,right?"

まさか〜とは思わなかった should deserve a different entry , since it literally means
"Didn't expect 〜(to be) "
xabre24I agree with yookosoさん, how does V-plain +とは思う differ from V-plain +と思う/だと思う? 
KWhazitAnother phrase I like to use when translating まさか is "Don't tell me ... !", though that doesn't work in every case.

And a まさか phrase that doesn't translate literally is そのまさかだ! (or the equivalent). Sometimes, when someone says, for example, まさか、(insert unlikely/unwelcome situation here)じゃないだろう? (It COULDN'T be (situation), right?), the response is そのまさかだ! (It IS that (situation)!). Try translating まさか itself directly in that case, and you're just asking for trouble.
MikieSimonI like the translation "hardly" for masaka. 

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