How to say “Because” in Japanese – Kara, No de

Posted by on November 12, 2020 – Japanese Study

In Japanese there are several ways to say the word “Because”,  today we will focus on two of them – “No de” and “Kara”

How to use Kara から in Japanese to say Because

In Japanese, if you would like to say because with verbs and adjectives – you can add Kara to your reasoning.

This can be used in a statement – to state your reason.

Such as in the following sentences:

お金がありませんから、新しいゲームを買いません
okane ga arimasen kara , atarashii ge-mu wo kaimasen

Because I don’t have any money – I won’t buy a new game.

好きな動物は猫だから、猫タトゥーがあります
sukina doubutsu wa neko da kara, neko tatuu ga arimasu

I have a cat tattoo because my favorite animal is a cat

Or it can also be used to answer a question:

Q: なぜあなたは遅れるのですか?
Naze anata wa okureru nodesu ka?

Why are you late?

A: 電車の中で事故があったから。
Densha no naka de jiko ga atta kara.

Because there was an accident on the train.

In English, it would be similar to saying – “so” in order to connect words in a casual relationship.

With i and na adjectives – Kara can be used and require the standard or polite form of a verb.

For example –

私はダイブがとても親切だから好きです。

Watashi wa daibu ga tottemo shinsetsu da kara suki desu

I like Dave because he is a very kind person

Using Kara as a Conjuction

Kara (Dakara) can also be used as conjuction on its own – and its a common way of starting a sentence in Japanese – especially in casual conversation.

だから私は目が痛かった
Dakara watashi wa me ga itakatta

That’s why my eyes hurt.

It’s similar to “that’s why” or “therefore” or “so” in english.

だから、私はとても嬉しかった
Dakara watashi wa tottemo ureshikatta

So I was really happy!

How to use ので in Japanese to say “so”

Another way to say “because” or “so” in Japanese is to use ので.

携帯が壊れたので、新しいを買いに行ってきた
Keitai ga kowareta node atarashii o kai ni ittekita

My cell phone broke, so I went to go buy a new one.

You can also shorten the no de to nde in some situations – especially when you are speaking Japanese.

Important Tip:
One thing to keep in mind is that you cannot use node to simply answer a question – only when stating a reason.

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