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Thread: "But" and "Because"

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    Default "But" and "Because"

    OK, so I've noticed in Japanese there are A LOT of words for "but" and "because". I was wondering what the difference, if any, was. Here are the words I've learned:

    But:


    けど
    しかし
    でも

    Because:
    から

    ので

    Are there any differences?
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    Context and politeness level, various sentence constructions.

    が would be used after the first part of a sentence, to introduce something.

    日本料理が好きですが、 今、 食べたくない。
    I like Japanese cooking, but I don't want to eat right now.

    けど is usually to string two sentences together.

    日本へ行きたいんです。 お金がありません。
    日本へ行きたいんですけど、 お金がありません。
    I want to go to Japan. I have no money.
    I want to go to Japan, but I have no money.

    しかし is just more formal.

    でも is usually used to begin a new sentence with "but."

    A: あなたの主人は、これが好きですか?
    B: はい。 でも、 これがほしくないと思います。
    A: Does your husband like this?
    B: Yes. But I think he doesn't want it.

    And now on to the because's.

    から and ので have no difference in translated meaning and are most often interchangeable.

    さむいから、コートを着なさい。
    さむいので、コートを着なさい。
    (Mother to child) Because it is cold, wear a coat.

    I assume by で you mean the て form, because I've never encountered で as meaning "because." If it is て form, then it only applies to adjectives.

    彼は強くて、 かっこいい。
    Because he is strong, he is cool.

    Please someone correct me if I'm wrong. I'm running on less than five hours of sleep and the brain doesn't function very well on Japanese mode.

    @___@

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    Hee hee, while I still have my Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar out from your other post, here is something it says on p. 122:

    "Daga, dakedo, demo, shikashi, and keredomo express the same idea as ga [the meaning "but"]. However, the first four [daga, dakedo, demo, and shikashi] cannot make compound sentences like ga does; they must occur at the beginning of a sentence." NOTE: Keredomo carries the meaning, "although"

    So, they carry the same meaning, you just have to use them according to whatever statement you are using. "Ga'" and "kedo" are things that I use as my own sentence "drifters," if you will; like when you make a statement, but don't finish the sentence.

    見なかったけど - I haven't seen it, but.... (I want to, or something like that)
    見なかったが(OR 見なかったですが)- same as above

    Overall, though, I don't think there is much difference between them in meaning other than where you use them in the sentence you are creating.

    As for "because," on p. 108:

    "The particle de is a very loose marker of cause due to its origin; in contrast, kara and node are clear subordinate conjunctions of cause/reason."

    So で carries with it a meaning of a slightly weak causal relationship, whereas から and ので are stronger.

    One other thing I noticed--but this could be wrong--で appears to be more or less tied to a noun (名詞), such as in 病気で学校を休んだ。 (Because I was sick, I didn't go to school. OR Being sick, I didn't go to (took a break from) school.) から and ので can be put between 2 independent clauses, though.

    日本に行ったから、たくさんの言葉を習いました!*
    日本に行ったので、たくさんの言葉を習いました!
    Because I went to Japan, I learned a lot of words!

    *Be sure not to confuse this with the から that is attached to -te forms, which carries the meaning of "after..."

    Hope that helps at least a little..... and someone enlighten me if I'm wrong, please!
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    Sorry if things were already said. I was lazy to read other replies.

    が、けど、けれど、けれども as you know is conjuct sentences. けど is usually use for 話し言葉 instead of 書き言葉 (if you know differences of those two.)

    Also there is のに which indicate a sudden change. Like in "I studied so hard but I did really bad on the test."

    しかし、でも as you know is used to start new sentence. しかし is more formal, etc.

    I don't think difference of から、ので was mentioned so...

    In using ので you can't make second part of sentence your own opinion/command/request/etc. It has to state a fact? I guess. I don't know how to explain correctly so forgive if it isn't clear.

    で conjunction is like ~て conjunction if it's what you're talking about...
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    Don't be lazy about reading the replies, please. There is no need to repeat what others have said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MistressPookyChan View Post
    Don't be lazy about reading the replies, please. There is no need to repeat what others have said.
    I did look through them and I didn't see some of those things mentioned so I mentioned them.
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    My text doesn't say much about で except that it attaches to nouns and has the meaning "because", although I think it's equivalent to using 〜て for adjectives and verbs.

    @shinnraiu: So basically this would be correct:

    さむいですから、まどを閉めてください。

    but this would not:

    さむいですので、まどを閉めてください。

    I suppose that seems right; for some reason I have this instinct about things not sounding right. Usually when something doesn't sound right, it tends not to be right (although I can't get used to using だ or る at the end of my sentences so I always speak formally...it's something to work on...)
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    Quote Originally Posted by shinnraiu View Post
    I did look through them and I didn't see some of those things mentioned so I mentioned them.
    It was in reply to what you said here...
    Sorry if things were already said. I was lazy to read other replies.
    I don't want to start an argument. Just be careful about repeats, as we have been having a problem overall with this lately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ertai87 View Post
    My text doesn't say much about で except that it attaches to nouns and has the meaning "because", although I think it's equivalent to using 〜て for adjectives and verbs.

    @shinnraiu: So basically this would be correct:

    さむいですから、まどを閉めてください。

    but this would not:

    さむいですので、まどを閉めてください。

    I suppose that seems right; for some reason I have this instinct about things not sounding right. Usually when something doesn't sound right, it tends not to be right (although I can't get used to using だ or る at the end of my sentences so I always speak formally...it's something to work on...)
    That's right. =) You'll get used to informal speech eventually don't worry
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ertai87 View Post
    I suppose that seems right; for some reason I have this instinct about things not sounding right. Usually when something doesn't sound right, it tends not to be right (although I can't get used to using だ or る at the end of my sentences so I always speak formally...it's something to work on...)
    Funny that you say that, because my Japanese teacher actually let us use that excuse in class.

    "Why particle (x)?"
    "Because....it sounds right?"

    And it was actually a valid answer. So if in doubt, if the sentence sounds awkward or wrong to you, it most likely is. The way when someone says something wrong in English everyone knows.

    (And don't worry. It took me forever to get used to plain form, but then I hung out around the Japanese exchange students and I kinda picked it up. It took some getting used to since I had always spoken in class, but eventually I had this breakthrough (around the time I started RPing character dialogue in Japanese) and I figured that my character probably wouldn't speak formally to his wife >> <<) so just keep practicing and you'll get it eventually!)

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    >さむいですから、まどを閉めてください。

    >さむいですので、まどを閉めてください。

    Strange. I'm also speaking from gut feeling, mind, but both of those seem correct.

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    ので isn't used with です。

    さむいので、まどを閉めてください。

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    yeah....you learn that in school. I did too. But when you come to japan and start speaking with the natives, you notice that many japanese people dont follow the grammar rules that we've learnt.

    ので can definitely be used with です. if you add です to the ので, your sentence sounds really polite. So people who deal with customers (waiters, receptionists, salespeople etc) where they have to use polite language often use the です +のでcombination.

    edit:
    I'd just like to add another thing. actually in some situations it's BETTER to have です/~ます + ので.
    one such situation is when you're just starting your new job at say starbucks and your boss introduces you to the other employees and then asks you to say a word or two. in that situation, it's standard to say something like:

    tetemakhang です。お仕事がんばりますので皆さん、よろしくお願いします。 
    Last edited by tetekmakhang; 02-09-2008 at 06:04 AM.

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    What tetekmakhang said.

    Maybe it isn't grammatically correct per se, but somewhere along the line it became acceptable Japanese. I don't know, I guess kind of like how writing "drive-thru" instead of "drive-through" isn't exactly correct from a purist point of view, but isn't necessarily bad English either (courtesy of William Strunk).
    Last edited by Datenshi; 02-08-2008 at 04:51 PM.

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    Ah Strunk, how I hate you so...

    Onto Japanese: I remember a "Why...because" clause in Japanese.

    I'm unsure about the connotation, but it seems like it may be informal...or maybe more formal than usual.

    なぜ => Why?
    なぜなら => Because.

    なぜ太いですか?
    なぜなら私は食べ物が大好きです。

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    Quote Originally Posted by BokuNoAiken View Post
    Ah Strunk, how I hate you so...

    Onto Japanese: I remember a "Why...because" clause in Japanese.

    I'm unsure about the connotation, but it seems like it may be informal...or maybe more formal than usual.

    なぜ => Why?
    なぜなら => Because.

    なぜ太いですか?
    なぜなら私は食べ物が大好きです。
    The second sentence is suppose to be
    なぜなら私は食べ物が大好きだからです。
    I think you already know this, just slipped up a little.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Datenshi View Post
    >さむいですから、まどを閉めてください。

    >さむいですので、まどを閉めてください。

    から is usually used in explaining something while giving reason, and in making requests/giving orders, so in such sentence using ので might be a bit awkward.
    but then again, it's not really 'wrong.' still, I wouldn't recommend saying it the second way.
    fragment/ "ruminate"

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    I was informed that ので might actually be a combination of the で particle with the の explanation. So you're explaining something, and then linking it to the result.

    Obviously, 日本語ですで話します。 is strange because it attaches で to a what should be a completed sentence.

    But Japanese people simply break their own grammar rules just like everyone else. I mean I hear that ないです is more colloquial than ありません in some cases.

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    Of course, the question that raises is whether anybody's ever seen or heard んで being used in that context. Myself, I've never paid that close attention, so I can't really say one way or the other, but it would be an interesting thing to look out for, I suppose.

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