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Intermediate Japanese Language Learning with Dazai Osamu

Complimentary Japanese Reading Lessons From Maplopo Schoolhouse

Season ONE—水仙 (Page thirty)


EP.30 Spotlight: ちがいない, Dazai Osamu (太宰治), Daffodil (水仙)

Video file / Audio File / Online Intermediate Japanese Course

Read the full ちがいない, EP30 transcript | Intermediate and Advanced Japanese

…and two example sentences:

it’s got to be a european import!”

Well, when we use ちがいない, it basically indicates some sort of strong belief or surety

You feel like this thing is pretty much “right on,” right? And your… kind of… intuition is telling you: “Yeah, this is… this is right. It must be this thing, right?

“There’s no doubt about it. I’m sure.”

It’s a it’s another one of these “supposing auxiliaries,” right? But, your assumption is pretty darn high. Now, I just threw a lot of words at you in English there, right?

“Must be,” “there’s no doubt about it,” —this word is pretty much the same in Japanese.

you might be reminded of from a past lesson… that is pretty much interchangeable with this word. And the previous word that you learned is はずだ. And the reason they’re kind of interchangeable is because they both indicate this sort of presumptive certainty, right? You’re presuming certainty. These two are similar enough to be exchanged. But, there are of course things you need to pay attention to and we’ll do that in our examples.

without issue. First, ちがいない:

Kinoshita is sure to come.”

And when placing はずだ into the sentence would make it feel and sound quite unnatural. So, let’s listen to this at play. And, first we’ll take a look at a sentence that uses, um… ちがいない, and then we’ll do はずだ after that so you can see the difference. And we’ll explain why it doesn’t work. So, first ちがいない :

in this type of a sentence, is because of the form of the sentence. So, ちがいない works for this reason:

and make some assumptive guess, and then that guess, here… is the reason why you think your skirt is tight. The reason being “Oh, I must have put on a few pounds, right?”

You have this current state (or situation)… you question: “Why am I in this place?”

You make a guess… and then the reason that you… you state is what follows. Now, はずだ doesn’t really like that form. It has a different kind of domain that it plays in, and we’ll show you that territory right now with an example in Japanese.

kilos these last two weeks.” はずだ’s preferred form is where you want to create a sentence and you’re making a conclusion and you’re drawing that conclusion based on some sort of logic and objectivity. We tend to use it when commenting about someone or something else, as opposed to ourselves, and it has two basic elements (this form). The first element is this logical reason that exists in your mind, and then the conclusion that’s inevitably drawn from that reason. And, the conclusion is not verified… hasn’t been proven… nor, has it been confirmed.

This is basically はず.

And, in our example we have: “Rika has been eating only pepperoni pizza as of late…” that’s our reason… and the conclusion that we’re drawing is that: “… I’m sure she’s gained a few kilos these last two weeks.” Now what’s interesting about this is ちがいない can fit into は だ’s form, but はず can’t really fit into ちがいない’s form. ちがいない has more breadth to it and you can apply it to this form.

form existing in a single sentence and also existing in two separate sentences, as you see in this car example. In Dazai’s example, he does the same thing. He uses two different sentences. In the first sentence he describes this current state of the lord… of him having gone mad. And, then in this second sentence, he talks about the reason why it must be that the lord has gone mad.

And, in our other examples you see this very same thing play out, right?

the current state… of “…its design and color…

it you’ll know that the writer is stating their opinion with you, and they’re doing so with a sort of sense of conviction that what it is they’re telling you is pretty much true in their mind and in their gut.


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