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The はず (筈) Masterpost

はず (筈) Masterpost

~はずです as “should be~, suppose to~, reason to believe~, etc.”

The grammar pattern ~はずです is used to express that the speaker expects something to be or occur a certain way. (The word はず (筈) originally means nock, as in the nock of a bow. Historically, it was used as a metaphor to denote where on a bow the bowstring “should be;” the phrase evolved to have the idiomatic, grammatical purpose it does today.) Common translations of ~はずです include “suppose to be~, should be~, expect to be~, reason to believe~, thought that~, should work out as~, ought to be~, sure that~, must be~, etc.”
This grammar pattern cannot be used to refer to something that the speaker performs themselves unless that something did not turn out as the speaker had expected or intended (and thus was actually “out of their control”).

While not consistently the best choice for the translation for ~はずです、 the wording of “reason to believe~” may serve as a good mnemonic interpretation as it expresses the speaker’s expectations for something to be true in an objective sense and not so much in the sense of anticipating or looking forward to something. This wording also corresponds with the grammar pattern’s restriction of usage when referring to something that the speaker performs themselves, as saying something like “I have reason to believe I will eat out for lunch” comes off as unnatural.

Plain-Form-VERB + はずです
い-ADJECTIVE + はずです
な-ADJECTIVE + (な/である/だった/であった/でなかった) + はずです
NOUN + (な/である/だった/であった/でなかった) + はずです

NOUN Example(s):
Ashita no shuukai wa gogo sanji no hazu desu.
Tommorow’s meeting should be at 3 P.M.
Kare no kotoba wa uso de wa nai hazu desu.
I have every reason to believe that his words are not lies.
Kinou no shuukai wa gogo sanji datta hazu desu.
Yesterday’s meeting should’ve been at 3 P.M.

い-ADJECTIVE Example(s):
Kanojo no tsukutta mono wa oishii hazu desu.
Anything she makes has got to be delicious.
Kanojo no tsukutta mono wa oishikunai hazu desu.
Anything she makes has got to be not delicious.
Kanojo no tsukutta mono wa oishikatta hazu desu.
I’m sure whatever she made was delicious.

な-ADJECTIVE Example(s):
Ame ga futte imashita kara, michi wa kiken na hazu desu.
It was pouring, so the road should be dangerous.
Ano basho wa shizuka de wa nai hazu desu.
That place should be not quiet.
Boku wa inakatta kara, shizuka datta hazu desu.
I wasn’t there so I’m sure it was peaceful.

VERB Example(s):
Sensei wa ima office ni irassharu hazu da.
The teacher should be in her office right now.
Kanojo wa ashita America kara tsuku hazu desu.
She is suppose to be arriving from America tomorrow.
Gakuseitachi wa mainichi hachiji made ni kyoushitsu ni iru hazu na no ni…
The students are suppose to be in the classroom by 8 o’clock everyday, and yet…
Shougakusei wa sonnnani fukuzatsu wadai o rikai dekinai hazu desu.
I don’t expect elementary school students to understand such a complex topic.

*As is the case with many other grammar patterns, ~はず can be used in a clause that modifies a noun. (Ex. いるはず人はどこですか? – “Where is the person who is suppose to be here?”)

The ~はずです grammar pattern is one of the trickiest when it comes to past-tense and negative conjugation because not only can you conjugate the WORD you use with the phrasing はずです to form the grammar pattern but you can also choose to conjugate the phrasing はずです itself. You can even form a double conjugation of sorts for both.

~はずだった as “should have~ (but didn’t), was supposed to~ (but didn’t), etc.” (Past-tense):

Plain-Past-Form-VERB + はずです = “suppose to be/should be that VERBed”
Plain-Present-Form-VERB + はずだった = “suppose to be/should be that VERBed (but did not)”

As shown in the examples above, when the WORD used with the grammar pattern ~はずです is conjugated into the past-tense, it does not affect the grammar pattern’s meaning of “should be~, suppose to~, reason to believe~, etc.” However, when the phrasing はずです itself is conjugated into the past-tense (e.g. はずだった), this form adds on the implication that the speaker’s expectations did not come true and expresses a degree of regret or dissatisfaction.
*This however does not mean that instances of this grammar pattern that conjugate the WORD instead of はずですinto the past-tense express expectations that always come true. Quite the contrary, as phrases such as のに, なんだけど, なんですが are commonly used in conjunction with this grammar pattern to tackle on the meaning of “should’ve been~, but wasn’t…” And of course, another way to tell if the expectation did not come true is if the person who performs the action is the speaker themselves, as that would mean things did not occur as they had expected.


Kesa o motte kita hazu na no ni…
“I thought I brought my umbrella, but… (it turns out I didn’t)”
*Note how the simple inclusion of のに confirms that the expectation was not met and there is now resulting dissatisfaction 

Kanojo wa saki ni itta hazu da
“She must have gone ahead.”
*Conversely, note how in this example, although the VERB word is conjugated into the past-tense, with the absence of のに or some other such phrasing, what the speaker is expecting still very well may actually be true

Watashitachi wa tanoshii toki o sugosu hazu datta
“We were supposed to have a good time (but didn’t)”
*And finally, note how in this example, the presence of  だった affirms that the expectation was not met, grammatically (and quite literally) making said expectation a thing of the past that has now been replaced with dissatisfaction  

“She’s suppose to call by 1 o’clock/I expect she’ll call by 1 o’clock.”
“I expect she called by 1 o’clock.”
“She was supposed to call by 1 o’clock (but she didn’t).”
“It should be that she had called by 1 o’clock, but… (she didn’t)
“She was supposed to have called by 1 o’clock (but she didn’t)“
*Note that the final two essentially have the same meaning, though latter expresses more dissatisfaction due to the inclusion of だった in はずだった

~はずがない as “there’s no way that~, cannot be~, impossible that~, highly unlikely that~, etc.” (Negative):

Negative-Form-VERB + はずです = “suppose to be/should be that does not VERB”
Non-Negative-Form-VERB + はずがない = “there’s no way that does VERB”
*The latter obviously has a stronger emphasis.     

Another approach to using negative form with ~はずです is to change it to ~はずがない, which applies a stronger sense of emphasis as can be perceived in its common translations, including “there’s no way that~, cannot be~, impossible that~, highly unlikely that~, etc.” It can be considered that this in turn makes ~はずがない a grammar pattern in and of itself.

~はずがない is very similar to the other grammar pattern ~わけがない and in most cases is very much interchangeable with it. The slight difference between the two in regard to intentions behind usage is that ~はずがない will at times implies a logical reason for denying something while ~わけがない can be said without one just because.

* ~はずがない can also be observed being used as variants such as ~はずはない and ~はずもない

Sore ga hontou no hazu ga nai
There’s no way that’s true.

Kanojo ga uso o tsuku hazu ga nai
There’s no way that she’s lying.

Kare wa nyuuin shita kara, ashita no shiai ni sanka suru hazu ga nai
He’s been admitted to the hospital, so there’s no way he’ll be able to participate in the match tomorrow.

Majime na gakusei no Tanaka wa gakkou o sabotte iru hazu ga nai
There’s no way Tanaka, the serious student, would be skipping school.

はずではない seems to be another way to invoke a negative form of this grammar pattern albeit much more seldom. Perhaps this is due to the present-tense phrasing of はずではない and はずではありません being easily confused with using the negative form to ask a question. Most predominantly, the construction of the present-tense Dictionary-Form of a VERB with the past-tense phrasing of はずではなかった or はずではありませんでした has the intention of expressing that one “was not supposed to do something” with a feeling of regret or dissatisfaction.

konna hazu jyanakatta no ni
It wasn’t supposed to go this way

Double Negative with ~はずがない Example(s):
Kare wa uso o tsukanai hazu ga nai
There’s no way he won’t lie.

*Instances of this double negative are more commonly used when the WORD is verb, as opposed to adjective and nouns, due to there being a better separation between the action and the expectation.

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〜気味 as “slightly〜”

〜気味 as “slightly〜”

The grammar pattern 〜気味 (ぎみ) Is used to express that something is slightly in a certain state or condition. In contrast to the similar grammar pattern 〜勝ち (がち) that is used to express a general (recurring) tendency, 〜気味 (ぎみ) is used to describe a current state or condition. Similarly to 〜勝ち (がち), this grammar pattern is generally used to express a state or condition that is negative, or rather, slightly negative. Translations include “slightly〜, 〜like, 〜looking, seems to〜, feels like〜, having the tendency of〜.”

Perhaps a reason why in some contexts the translation of 〜気味 (ぎみ) may come out as “having the tendency of〜,” which is definition much more in line with 〜勝ち (がち) is that such a case would be working the same way as an English sentence such as “Yeah, my watch runs a bit late” may imply that the state of being slightly late is an ongoing state (perhaps because it cannot be fixed, perhaps because it returns to that state every time batteries are replaced, etc.) not so much through the literal interpretation of the exact words used but through the speaker’s manner of speech and the context of the conversation before that utterance.

Pre-ます-Form VERB + 〜気味
NOUN + 気味
*Words that can be used with 気味 are limited

A slight cold

Kare wa sukoshi futorigimi desu.
He is a bit on the fat side.

Watashi wa gerigimi da.
I seem to have a touch of diarrhea.

Kinou tetsuya shita kara, shoushou tsukaregimi da.
I stayed up all night, so I’m feeling a bit tired

Kare wa enryougimi ni henji shimashita.
He responded with a touch of hesitation.

Kesa mo bus wa okuregimi datta.
The bus was a running a bit late this morning too.

Kyou wa jyugyou de happyou shimasu kara, sukoshi kinchougimi desu.
I will be making a presentation in class today, so I’m feeling a bit nervous.

Similar Grammar:
〜勝ち (がち)

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The 訳 (わけ) Masterpost

The 訳 (わけ) Masterpost

The word 訳 (わけ) variously translates to “meaning, reason, cause, conclusion derived from reasoning, judgment based on context.” (Some of these definitions could be considered the opposite of each other, which is what marks the complexity of this word and the grammar patterns that derive from it.)

Grammar Patterns that Employ 訳 (わけ):

1.) ~訳だ – “reason” or “for that reason~, as you’d expect~, that’s why~, etc.”
2.) ~という訳だ – “for that reason~, as you’d expect~, that’s why~, etc.”
3.) ~訳ではない – “it’s not like~”
4.) ~訳がない –  “there’s no way that~, it can’t be that~”
5.) ~訳には行かない – “must~, must not~, cannot afford to~, impossible~”

#01. Two Meanings of  訳 (わけ) when used in simple, positive construction of  ~訳だ (“reason” or “for that reason~, as you’d expect~, that’s why~, etc.”):

a.) Expressing a Reason

When used in its purest form, as a standalone word, 訳 (わけ) is often comparable to the most commonly used word for “reason,” 理由 (りゆう) and is even interchangeable with it in many cases.

(Riyuu/wake) mo naku
“without reason

Wake o hanasu
“to state one’s reason, to tell one’s story

Douiu wake ka
“For what reason?”

Toiu wake de
“for this reason, because of this (reason), with this (reason)
*Not only is this a slight variation of one of the というわけだ grammar pattern covered, it is also a very common sentence-opening phrase, so much so that at times it is even used without any intent of its meaning/function of referring to the “reasoning” that was just established. For example an utterance of というわけで can translate to “anyway…, in any case…, so with that all said and done” in which the speaker is attempting to change the subject as opposed to refer to the last thing said as the reasoning for something. This can be commonly heard on television programs such as talk shows where the host has move things along into the next segment.

b.) Expressing a Conclusion/Result (which is quite the opposite to a reason)

However, when we interpret  訳 (わけ) for its other definitions of “result, conclusion derived from reasoning, judgment based on context” instead, it can be used as such to express not so much the reason behind something but rather the result/conclusion of something else that is acting as the reason/context. (This is its much more common usage and will also be the definition we will want to interpret for the numerous more advanced grammar patterns later on.)

Common intentions behind usage of this grammar pattern are making a logical conclusion based on some established information, expressing an understanding or acknowledgement of the established information by concluding something from it, and restating the information established but from a different angle (the word つまり will often by seen alongside this usage). For this reason, this version now variously translates to “for that reason~, so as you would expect~, no wonder~, that’s why~, this means~, as a result~, based on this~, essentially~, basically~. naturally~” In short, context is very important.

Plain-Form VERB + 訳だ
な-ADJECTIVE + (な/だった) + 訳だ
NOUN + (な/だった) + 訳だ
*In line with 訳 (わけ) expressing a conclusion based upon contextual details, the following examples provided will each either include two sentences or a sentence with two clauses (in which the first will provide and context, or reason, for the conclusion made in the second).


Ame ga futte ita. Michi ga nurete iru wake da.
”It’s been raining. That’s why the road is wet.”
Making a logical conclusion based on some established information

Kare wa mada 14 sai na no ni, daigaku level no jyugyou o totte iru.
He’s taking university level courses even though he’s only 14 years old.
Tsumari tensai na wake ka.
So basically, he’s a genius.
Expressing an understanding or acknowledgement of the established information by concluding something from it

Kanojo wa 5 nenkan nihon ni sunde imashita.
She lived in Japan for five years before this.
”Oh, is that so? So naturally, she must be really good at speaking Japanese.”
Restating the information established but from a different angle

#02. ~という訳だ as “for that reason~, as you’d expect~, that’s why~, etc.”

Plain-Form VERB + という訳だ
い-ADJECTIVE + という訳だ
な-ADJECTIVE + という訳だ
NOUN + という訳だ

The grammar pattern ~という訳だ actually frequently interchangeable with ~訳だ  and only really differs from it in that it does not have two different uses.  ~という訳だ emphasizes the second usage of  ~訳だ (“for that reason~, so as you would expect~, no wonder~, that’s why~, this means~, as a result~, based on this~, essentially~, basically~. naturally~”) and is thus useful is knowing when 訳 is intended to mean “reason” or “result/conclusion.”


Gakuentoshi wa nandemo chikai kara, untenmenkyo ga nakutemo seikatsu dekiru touiu wake da.
“In college towns everything is nearby, so (it means/it’s such) that you can manage daily life even if you don’t have a driver’s license.”

Example of Differentiation: 

Sou ka. Daremo henji shinai wake da.
”I see. That’s the reason why no one will answer.”
This is literally stating that what was said in the sentence before is the reason no one will answer.

Sou ka Daremo henji shinai toiu wake da.
”I see. This means that no one is going to answer.”
On the other hand, this is making a statement about the current situation/result in which no one answer.

#03. ~訳ではない as “it’s not like~”

As might be predicted from the grammar (since it is simply the negative form of 訳だ), 訳ではない literally translates to “is not the reason for~.” However, the more natural meaning of the expression is something along the lines of “it’s not like~.” Here, we are again employing 訳’s variant definition of “conclusion based upon something said, something heard, or other such contextual clues,” or more simply, “result,” as opposed to “reason.” By doing so, our literal translation of the grammar pattern, which is now “it’s not the result~,” actually becomes more fitting to its actual meaning. Other phrasings that this grammar pattern could translate to include “it’s not as though~,” “it’s not the case that~,” “it doesn’t have much to do with~,” “it doesn’t mean that~,” “it’s not the case that~,” “not necessarily~,” “not altogether~,” “not particularly~,” etc.

In short, 訳ではない is used when we want to deny the “result” partially but not completely. The word choice in most of the translations above denote this nuance of partial denial.


Plain-Form VERB + (という) + 訳ではない
い-ADJECTIVE + (という) + 訳ではない
な-ADJECTIVE + (な/だという) + 訳ではない
*Parenthesis is not optional in this な-ADJECTIVE case, either method needs to be used.
NOUN + (という) + 訳ではない


Muzukashii wake jyanai
it’s not that hard”

Kanpeki na wake dewanai
it’s not like it’s perfect”

Fukanou da toiu wake dewanai
it’s not necessarily impossible”

Tensai toiu wake jyanai
it’s not like he’s a genius/he’s not necessarily a genius”

Nandemo shitte iru wake jyanai
It’s not like I know everything”

Itsumo heya de game suru wake dewanai
It’s not like I’m always in my room just playing games”

Daredemo pro ni nareru wake jyanaiyo
Not everyone has what it takes to become a pro”

Donna shoubu mo minna kateru wake dewanai
“You can’t win them all”

Watashi wa itsumo genki toiu wake dewanai
It’s not like I’m always full of spirit.”

Sore wa kimatta wake dewanai
That’s not necessarily decided upon.”

Kanchigai shinaide yo ne. Betsu ni anta no koto ga suki na wake jyanai da kara
“Don’t get me wrong! It’s not like I like you or anything!”
*In this signature tsundere line frequent in anime and dramas, note how the speaker is only partially denying that they have feelings for the addressee in line with the tsundere personality but is not completely denying it.

Kanojo no tomodachi ni narenakatta ga tomodachi tsukuri ga dekinai wake dewanai
“Just because you weren’t able to become friends with that girl doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to make any friends at all.”

#04. ~訳がない as “there’s no way that~, it can’t be that~” 

The grammar 訳がない is often confused with 訳ではない, and that’s understandably so; both grammar patterns use the word 訳, use the negative form of the word ある, and use subject/topic marking particles が and は (which themselves are even more often confused with each other).

Despite this similarity in the construction, these two grammar patterns have completely opposite meanings in a way, in that 訳ではない expresses a softened and partial negation of something while 訳がない (“it’s not like~”) expresses an emphasized and outright negation of something (“there’s no way~”). 訳がない’s meaning should come as more intuitive from the grammar of it’s construction. As the word 訳 means “reason” and がない (the Negative-Form of がある) means “to not be, to not exist, to not have,” this construction literally translates to “there is not reason that~,” which can then naturally transition into “there’s no way that~, it’s impossible that~, it can’t be that~.”

*This grammar pattern can actually be used as 訳はない as well, albeit it is less common than 訳がない. Much more often, in casual speech, the usage of particles が or は is dropped completely.

*The phrase わけない (sometimes even used as わけもない) is also used to express that something is very easy or simple. (Ex. わけもないことであった – “it was a simple act to pull off”) It is rather simple itself however to know when this version is being used because it grammatically acts in the same way as an adjective word.

Plain-Form VERB + (という) + 訳がない
*Most commonly exhibited in present tense
い-ADJECTIVE + 訳がない
な-ADJECTIVE + な + 訳がない
NOUN + (の/である) + 訳がない


Boku no imouto ga konnani kawaii wake ga nai
There’s no way my little sister can be this cute/My little sister can’t be this cute”

Boku ga uso o tsuku wake nai darou?
There’s no way that I would be lying, is there?!”

sonna wake ga nai
There’s no way that’s true/That can’t be true!/That’s impossible!”

Iru wakenai
There’s no way I would want that”

Kono taisetsu na kioku o wasureru wake ga nai
There’s no way I’ll forget this precious memory.”

Kanojo ga watashi o ki ni iru wake ga nai
There’s no way she’d be interested in me.”

Kono hiroi aparto wa yasui wake ga nai
“This spacious apartment can’t be cheap”

Kare wa itsumo chikoku suru, majime na gakusei de aru wake ga nai
“That guy is always showing up late, there’s no way he’s a serious student”

Sono houhou wa takusan no ketten ga aru. Koukateki na wake ga nai
“That approach is full of drawbacks. There’s no way it’ll be effective.”

#05.  ~訳には行かない as “must (not)~, it is not okay to~, have no choice but to~, can’t afford to~, impossible to~ (although one may want to)”

The grammar ~訳にはいかない has the same meaning as the basic grammar pattern ~てはいけない, which most commonly translates to “must not do~.” It is, however, much less common due to it being more formal. It also expresses a stronger emphasis.

*Worth noting is that  ~訳にはいかない exhibits a unique case of いかない as opposed to いけない.

While ~てはいけない requires the て-Form of a VERB word or the “て-Form” of a Negative- ない-Form VERB word, ~訳にはいかない instead either requires the Dictionary-Form of a VERB word or the Negative-ない-Form to mean “must not do VERB” and “must do VERB” respectively. (The positive usage of a verb results in a negative statement and vice versa due to the negative nature of the phrases いけない and いかない.)


Dictionary-Form VERB +  訳には行かない = “must not VERB”
Negative-ない-Form +  訳には行かない = “must VERB” (must not not VERB)
*The polite version is 訳にはいきません


Imouto wa hitori de uchi ni imasu kara massugu kitaku shinai wake niwa ikanai.
(My sister is at home alone right now so I must return straight home.)

Kono okurimono o uketoru wake ni wa ikimasen
It’s not possible for me to accept this gift.

Kare wa kono team no ace da. Yamesaseru wake niwa ikanai yo.
He is the ace of this team. We can’t afford to let him quit.

Boku wa shimeiuntensha da kara you wake ni wa ikanai
I’m the designated driver tonight so I can’t afford to get intoxicated.

一つの規準ですべてを律するわけには いかない
Hitotsu no kijun de subete o rissuru wake ni wa ikanai
You mustn’t judge everything single thing by one standard.

Sou yasuyasu to hikisagaru wake ni wa ikimasenyo
I cannot afford to back down so easily.

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How-to say “tend to ____” with (Pre-ます-VERB/NOUN)+がち

How-to say “tend to ____” with (Pre-ます-VERB/NOUN)+がち

The grammar pattern (Pre-ます-VERB/NOUN) + 勝ち (がち) is used to express that someone or something has a tendency to do VERB or NOUN, in which the tendency expressed is a negative one. Common translations of this grammar pattern in use include “tend to do, liable to do, often does, apt to do, prone to do.”

Pre-ます-VERB + がち = “tend to VERB”
NOUN + がち = “tend to NOUN”

Nihongo wa totemo muzukashii gengo da to omowaregachi desuga takusan no hito wa net dake de manande jyouzu ni narimasu.
People tend to think Japanese is a very difficult language, but plenty of people learn with just the internet and become good.

Nemui toki wa machigaegachi da.
I tend to make mistakes when I’m sleepy.

Kodomo no koro wa byoukigachi datta.
I was prone to getting sick when I was little.

Natsuyasumi dakara ichinichijyuu uchi de game shigachi da.
Since it’s summer vacation, I have tendency to spend all day playing games at home.
Additional Example(s):
*From weblio search results

Kioku wa kondou shigachi da.
Memories tend to jumble together

Hito wa ayamarigachi
Man is prone to error

Machigai wa arigachi da
Accidents are prone to happen

Kanojo wa wasuregachi de aru
she is liable to forget

Urotaegachi na hito
a person who often loses one’s head

Kare wa chikoku shigachi da
He is apt to be late.

Hito wa iiwake o shigachi da
People are apt to make excuses.
Related Grammar:
– 気味

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How-to say “all the more ____” with なおさら

How-to say “all the more ____” with なおさら

The grammar pattern 尚更 (なおさら) is used to add emphasis to positive and negative statements. Its most common translation is “all the more,” but it can also naturally translate to similar phrasings such as “even more,” “moreso,” and “much less” (the latter being the case of a negative statement).

*A helpful mnemonic device for remembering what this grammar pattern means is knowing the two kanji that make up the word 尚更, 尚 and 更. Both of these characters have the meaning of “more, further, furthermore.” So having “more” and “more,” two mores (it’s kind of like we have “all the mores”), that in and of itself should remind us of the meaning “all the more.” Another helpful connection is knowing what the common adverb word 今更 means, specifically how the 更 character (which is the same second character in 尚更) adds emphasis and changes 今 from meaning just “now” to “now, after all this time.” This emphasis of “all” or “now, moreso” can be helpful in remembering that 尚更, which also sports that 更 character, means what it means: all the more.

なおさら is a standalone phrase and can pretty much appear at any point in a sentence. It commonly appears after conjunctions that connect two clauses, such as “ から、 “ and “ と、 “

Asagohan o tabewasuretakara, naosara gudaguda dayo.
I forgot to eat breakfast today, so I’m feeling all the more exhausted.

Mite wa ikenai to iwareru to, naosara mitakunaru.
When you’re told not to look at something, it becomes all the more curious.

Party ga jyuubun suki da. Bijin ni sasowareru to, naosara ikitaiyo.
I love parties well enough as it is. If invited by a beautiful woman, I’d want to go all the more.

Hayaoki wa tsurai, yasumi no hi wa naosara da.
Waking up early in the morning is tough, all the more so if it’s on a day off.

Additional Example(s):
*From weblio search results
Jishin wa fui ni kuru kara, naosara osoroshii.
Earthquakes are all the more frightening because they are occur without warning.

私は英語はしゃべれない. フランス語はなおさらだめだ。
Watashi wa eigo wa shaberenai. France-go wa naosara dame da.
I can’t speak English, much less French.

Kare wa gakumon mo nai ga keiken wa naosara nai.
He has no scholarship, much less experience.

Kanojo wa ketten ga aru node, naosara suki desu.
I like her all the better for her faults.

Related Grammar:

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ふしがある as “there are indications that~, it seems that~”

ふしがある as “there are indications that~, it seems that~”

The word 節 (ふし) can be defined as “indication,” “notable characteristic,” “point that lingers on in the heart (心がとまるような点).” When used together with the がある (the fundamental way to express the existence of something), it forms the grammar pattern that expresses the meaning of “there are indications that~,” or, “it seems that~.” Due to the somewhat unnaturalness of the former definition and the expression itself being somewhat archaic and idiomatic, translations generally lean towards the latter definition and similar wording to it such as “I think that~.”




Kare wa, boku o teammate toshite mitomete inai fushi ga aru.
(“I get the feeling that he has yet to accept me as a teammate.)

Keisatsu wa tousho jiken o inpei shiyou to shite ita fushi ga aru.
(“There are indications that the police had initially attempted to cover up the incident.”)

Tooru tte, ningen no kanjou rikai shite nai fushi ga aru yo ne
(“Tohru, it seems to me like you have a tendency to not understand human emotions.”)
*From episode 2 of Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

Related Expression(s):

~思い当たるふしがある ・ ~と思われる節がある

“to have something (likely) come to mind”

“There are indications that suggest ~ should be thought about/considered”
*This is a common utterance that expresses something that the speaker wants to state but is not fully confident about.

Similar Grammar Patterns:

~ようだ ・ ~みたい ・ ~気配がある ・ ~気がする ・ ~感じられる

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How-to say “to have no choice but to do VERB” (Pre-ない-Form VERB + ざるを得ない)

How-to say “to have no choice but to do VERB” (Pre-ない-Form VERB + ざるを得ない)

The grammar pattern of Pre-ない-Form VERB + ざるを得ない expresses the idea of “to have no choice but to do VERB.” Other translations of this include “cannot help but to VERB”, “to be obligated to VERB,” “to be compelled to do VERB.” In meaning, it is similar to other grammar patterns such as なければならない and しかない, both of which also employ a negative form of the VERB word used. The context of this grammar pattern’s construction can also serve as a useful way to memorize its meaning. The ざる-Form of a VERB word can be thought of as a more literary and archaic version of the standard Negative-ない-Form of a VERB word, which of course means “to not VERB.” Additionally, the word 得ない is used as a suffix of sorts to VERB words to express the meaning of “can’t VERB” or “not possible to do VERB.” Thus, in combining these two meanings, our grammar pattern has the meaning of “can’t not do VERB,” which more naturally translates to something along the lines of “no choice but to do VERB.”

*The verb する, “to do,” exhibits a special conjugation when used with this grammar pattern in which it becomes せ instead of し (せざるを得ない and not しざるを得ない).

Pre-ない-Form VERB (the Negative-ない-Form with the ない dropped) + ざるを得ない = “to have no choice but to do VERB”

Similar Grammar Patterns:


Kinyoubi made ni tsukitakereba, hikouki de ikazaru o enai.
(“If you want to arrive by Friday, you have no choice but to go by plane.”)

Mina wa atarashii joushi o mitomezaru o enakatta.
(“We all had no choice but to accept the new boss.”)

Takusan no yosougai no koto ga okotta kara, ryokou o enki sezaru o enai.
(“Since a lot of unexpected things happned, we have no choice but to postpone our trip.”)

Kenkou no tame ni takusan no yasai o tabehajimezaru o enai.
(“For the sake of my health, I have no choice but to eat a lot of vegetables.”)

Byouki ga yoku natte inakatta kara, byouin ni ikazaru o enakatta.
(“My illness was not getting any better, so I had no choice but to go to the hospital.”)

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How-to say “to begin to do VERB” (Pre-ます-Form VERB + かける)

How-to say “to begin to do VERB” (Pre-ます-Form VERB + かける)

The grammar pattern that consists of the Pre-ます-Form of a VERB word followed by the word かける expresses the idea of “beginning to do VERB.” This expression is very similar to another grammar pattern, Pre-ます-Form VERB + 始める, which also translates to “to begin VERBing.” The distinction between the two is that whereas Pre-ます-Form VERB + 始める more generally describes something that has begun doing a VERB action (and typically continues to do that action) , Pre-ます-Form VERB + かける a particular nuance of “on the verge of doing VERB, about to do VERB, almost do VERB, to get halfway into doing VERB, etc.” In a lot of cases, this nuance will also imply that the VERB action was halted after it was beginning to be done.

*かける is one of the rather special words in the Japanese language, wherein it can be associated with literally more than 20 different definitions, so do be careful about automatically assuming it is serving the function of this grammar pattern when you hear it being used!


Pre-ます-Form VERB + かける = “to start doing VERB”
Pre-ます-Form VERB + かけ + の + NOUN = “NOUN that SUBJECT had started doing VERB to/with”


A! Wasurekaketa!
(“Ah! I almost forgot!”)

Yomikakete iru hon wa kitai ni hanshite omoshirokunai.
(“The book that I’ve started reading isn’t as interesting as I had hoped.”)

Yomi kake no hon
(“Partly read book”)

Tabe kake no hamburger
(“Half-eaten hamburger”)

Shukudai o shikaketa ga nokotta bubun wa sugoku muzukashii.
(“I started doing my homework, but the part that’s left is really hard.”)

Kare wa bo-tto shite, ochikaketa.
(“The guy was spacing out and nearly fell down.”)

Nekaketa ga totsuzen kasaikeihouki ga natta.
(“I was about to go to sleep but all of a sudden the fire alarm went off.”)

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2 Different Grammar Patterns Formed from the Word かねる and its Negative Form かねない

2 Different Grammar Patterns formed from the word かねる and its Negative Form かねない (Pre-ます-Form VERB + かねる as “to not be able to do VERB” and Pre-ます-Form VERB + かねない as “for VERB to be likely to happen”)

The word かねる can be used to form two different grammar patterns depending on whether it is used in its positive form (かねる) or its negative form (かねない). The construction for both versions includes the Pre-ます-Form of a VERB word that immediately precedes it.


Pre-ます-Form VERB + かねる = “to not be able to do VERB”
Pre-ます-Form VERB + かねない = “for VERB to be likely to happen”

1.) When the Pre-ます-Form of a VERB word is used with the positive form かねる, the grammar pattern formed acquires the meaning of “to not be able to do VERB.” Or, “to find it difficult, unpleasant, awkward, painful to do VERB.” This grammar pattern is very formal and is more commonly seen in written Japanese than heard in spoken Japanese. In most cases wherein it does show up in conversational Japanese, it is in a formal situation and setting, such as a businessman speaking to his superior.

2.) When the Pre-ます-Form of a VERB word is used with the negative form かねない, the grammar pattern formed acquires the meaning of “for VERB to be likely to happen,” in which VERB is an adverse action that is undesired. This generally in turn means that the VERB word used is not an action that the speaker himself performs (but rather, an outside action that negatively affects the speaker or entity related to the speaker). This grammar pattern that is used with the negative form かねない is also considered a formal grammar pattern that is more commonly seen in written Japanese than heard in spoken Japanese, but it can occasionally show up in conversational Japanese, even beyond formal scenarios.


すみません、わかりかねます 。
Sumimasen, wakarikanemasu
(“I apologize, I do not understand.”)

Sonnani hayaku shitara, misu wo shikanenai.
(“If you work on it at such a quick pace, it’s likely that you’ll end up making a mistake.”)

Koutsuuryou ga fuekanenai kara, hayaku dekaketa hou ga ii.
(“There’s likely to be a lot of traffic, so it’d be best to leave as soon as possible.”)

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NOUNに反してX as “contrary to NOUN, X”

NOUNに反してX as “contrary to NOUN, X”

The grammar pattern “contrary to NOUN” can be formed when the phrasing に反して immediately follows a NOUN word (the kanji 反 literally translates to “anti”). As such, it is used to express when something is “contrary to,” “against,” or “on the other hand of” something else.

The phrasing に反して itself is the the て-Form of the verbal noun word 反する (this conjugation fulfills the typical て-Form function of connecting two things to be apart of the same sentence, in this case the two things being the NOUN word and X, which is the thing contrary to the NOUN word). This also implies that the construction can be conjugated differently to serve different purposes while still fulfilling the same general meaning (e.g. NOUN1に反するNOUN2 as “NOUN2 that is contrary or in opposition to NOUN1“).


NOUN word + に反してX = “contrary to NOUN, X”


Mina no yosou ni hanshite, kyougou team wa maketa.
(”Contrary to everyone’s predictions, the powerhouse team lost.”)

Watashitachi no kitai ni hanshite, mita eiga ga amari omoshirokunakatta.
(”Contrary to our expectations, the movie we saw wasn’t very interesting.”)

Asa no tenkiyosou ni hanshite, ame ga takusan furimashita.
(”In contrast to the morning weather report, it’s raining aplenty.”)

Kare wa goryoushin no shounin ni hansuru hito ni eikyou sarete, hannin ni natte shimatta.
(”He was influenced by people his parents did not approve of and turned to a life of crime.”)