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Conjunctions

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Alan
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Conjunctions

Postby Alan » July 16th, 2006 5:01 pm

I'm a little confused over conjunctions. I understand that some start a new sentence and that some come after the main clause (e.g. 'ga') and that some come over the subordinate clause (e.g. 'kara'), but there still seems to be several which seem to be equivalent, and I can't figure out when to use each one.

i.e.

'ga' versus 'keredomo'
'kara' versus 'node'
'mata' versus 'soshite'
'dakara' versus 'sorede[wa]'

My thinking is that:
1. 'ga' is used more in written japanese, while 'kedo' is more for spoken japanese.
2. I haven't any idea when to use 'kara' and when to use 'node'
3. 'mata' also means 'again' as an adverb, so I'm guessing it still has a hint of that meaning when used as a conjunction, while perhaps 'soshite' is more sequential, i.e, 'and then'. However that would really be 'sorekara' so that is probably wrong.
4. 'dakara' is 'da kara', i.e. 'because of that', while 'sorede[wa]' is 'sore de', I think meaning 'that one is and'. I'm still a bit confused.

Summary of conjunctions I've been looking at:
(I've capitalised the ones that start a sentence).

Dakara = therefore, because of that, that's why
Demo = however, yes but
ga = but, however
kara = because, since (comes after the sub-ordinate clause)
keredomo (keredo, kedomo, kedo) = but, however
Mata = also
Moshi = if (used with sentence with conditional verb, e.g. -ba, -tara)
Nazenara[ba] = if [you ask] why
node = because, since (comes after the sub-ordinate clause)
shi = and what's more, not only...but also (used after verb)
Shikashi = however (begins new contrasting thought)
Soredemo = despite that
Sorede[wa] = therefore, because of that
Sorekara = after that, then
Sorenara = if that is the case, if that's so
Soretomo = or, or else, otherwise
Sou shitara = if that is so, if [you] do that, that being the case
Soshite = also, and also
Suru to = then, thereupon, at that point, that being done

Thanks for any help
Alan

Edit: Typo corrected
Last edited by Alan on July 17th, 2006 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

usagi
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Postby usagi » July 16th, 2006 8:58 pm

Good morning Alan-san!

Interesting topic :D
I love these because they add so much flavour to a language and give even the beginner - like me- a bit of a fluency.

So the first one you mentioned i.e. ga vs. kedo is a bit more complicated than that, I believe. I am no expert but from my knowledge ga is used quite a lot in conversations, it´s just a preference some speakers seem to have. Some use "demo" all the time others use "ga" all the time. Kedo is also used at the end of sentences to soften the tone, to make what was said less harsh. I hear women use this a lot. Sorry, if I just added to your confusion!!!!

Your explanation re. soshite was actually spot on! It is used to start off a new sentence and could be translated as: and then. I use dakara when I want to say therefore or hence.

Node is a bit more formal than kara and you are right it means "because".
It works just like kara: reason node situation.
Example : My Japanese has improved because I always speak Japanese.

>>itsumo nihongo de hanasunode, nihongo ga youzuni narimashta.

Notice how the reason has to be in the short form!!! Also, when you use a na-adjective or a noun in front of node you need the na in between:
Example: I don´t like that person because he is mean.

>>kono hito wa ijiwarunanode, kirai desu.

Does that help in any way? Hope I didn´t add to your confusion :oops:

I am sure the experts will be here soon to answer your post properly.

Have a lovely Sunday.

One last point: I cannot write romaji to save my life, so please excuse all the mistakes! I have never learnt this and don´t plan on doing so in the future, I just need to get Japanese installed soon :oops:

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Alan
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Postby Alan » July 17th, 2006 12:51 am

兎さん、
Thanks for the comments, particularly about 'na' adjectives and 'node'. I was feeling fairly comfortable with 'ga', 'kara', 'dakara', 'soshite' and occasionally 'soretomo', but noticed that the Jpod crew tend to use 'kedo' rather than 'ga'. This started the whole question of when to use which conjunction in my mind. After reading my grammar book, I was less then enlightened on when to use each of the similar conjunctions. I'm still confused :?

アラン

Edit: I've found 'Adjective predicate + node' in The Handbook of Japanese Adjectives & Adverbs' (page 67).

It gives an example:
'juudai na node' = because ... is important.
'juudai datta node' = because ... was important.

There is also a note that 'da' changes to 'na' with 'node'. I guess this is a comparison with the grammar in similar cases for other conjunctions. e.g. for 'kara'

'nesshin da kara' = because ... is enthusiastic
'nesshin datta kara' = because ... was enthusiastic.

Ah, even better. There's some discussion of the difference between 'kara' and 'node' in this book.

The node clause (the sub-ordinate clause) expresses a reason or cause that is more objective or reasonable to the listener than one introduced by kara. Unlike kara, node tends not to project the speaker's personal opinion. The node clause is usually not followed by a main clause involving the speaker's volition, opinion, command or invitation.


I wonder if this book can answer my other conjunction queries. I didn't think to look in it before as it's supposedly about adjectives, not conjunctions :)

Edit: corrected translation of 'nesshin'

Jason
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Re: Conjunctions

Postby Jason » July 17th, 2006 7:10 am

Alan wrote:1. 'ga' is used more in written japanese, while 'kedo' is more for spoken japanese.

While けど/けれえど/けれども is colloquial and you probably wouldn't want to use them in more formal writing, が is not used strictly for writing. It pops up in spoken Japanese a good bit, too. が does sound a bit more formal in speech and in some cases more masculine (like だが vs だけど).

Alan wrote:2. I haven't any idea when to use 'kara' and when to use 'node'

Like it was already mentioned, ので is more formal and "detached" from the subject matter than から. But other than that, they do essentially the same exact thing. In most cases they're interchangable.

Litterally, から means "because..." while のだ/ので means "it is that..."

Alan wrote:3. 'mata' also means 'again' as an adverb, so I'm guessing it still has a hint of that meaning when used as a conjunction, while perhaps 'soshite' is more sequential, i.e, 'and then'. However that would really be 'sorekara' so that is probably wrong.

また has a slightly different nuance than そして. While そして is more like a simple "and (then)", また is more like "also; in addition (to)." また also doesn't have any kind of sequence implications like そして and それから.

Speaking of which, both そして and それから do imply a sequence to what you're talking about. The difference is that implication is much stronger with それから. それから can imply that things have to be in that order. Ex) レストランの前で友達に会います。それから、入って、一緒に晩御飯を食べます。

Alan wrote:4. 'dakara' is 'da kara', i.e. 'because of that', while 'sorede[wa]' is 'sore de', I think meaning 'that one is and'. I'm still a bit confused.

This one's a toughie to explain. They both mean "because (of) that.' But だから is more like "because this is so/this situation exists." While それで is more like "as a direct result of..." If it helps, remember that で as a particle can specify "the instrument/menas by which something is done." Consider this example:

明日は彼の結婚式だ。それで、みんなは教会に揃う。

While you could use だから here and it wouldn't be wrong, you'd lose some of that direct sense of "tomorrow's his wedding ceremony -> everybody'll gather at the church." With それで the focus shifts a bit more towards the cause instead of the result. Does that make any sense?
Jason
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Alan
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Postby Alan » July 17th, 2006 2:53 pm

Jason-san,

Thanks, that information's just what I needed and is a great help.

Alan


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