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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Japanese Language: Expressing reasons or causes

から、ので、で

To express a reason or cause in Japanese, から(kara), ので(node), and で(de)are quite useful.

Although they all mean "because" or "since," they are used a bit differently.

For starters, "kara" is a bit more casual, "node" a bit more formal.

"Kara" is used in more emotional, personal situations.

忙しかったから行かなかった。(Isogashikatta kara ikanakatta.) I was busy so I didn't go.

This is perhaps not the most persuasive or logical sentence--but it and others like it are often heard.

"Node" implies you are being logical. Using the same sentence:

忙しかったので行きませんでした。(Isogashikatta node ikimasen deshita.) I was busy (with something logical and important!) so I didn't go.

The final possiblility, "de" (で), is often used in the sense of "because of...," and is used in front of a noun.

For example, 雨で遅くなりました。(Ame de osoku narimashita.) Because of the rain, I was late.

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