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それで / だから

それで / だから

それで / だから Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Conjunction

Essential Meaning: Because of that / That is why / Therefore

Construction: Sentence 1. それで Sentence 2.

Notes:

  • それで is used to convey a loose causal relationship between two sentences where Sentence 1 expresses a cause or reason, and Sentence 2 expresses a situation that is caused or explained by that reason. Grammatically, それ is a demonstrative pronoun meaning “That“, and is a particle that marks a cause. So それで literally means “Due to that” or “Because of that“. Contextually, the structure A. それで B. roughly translates to “A. That is why B.“, “A. Because of that, B.“, or “A. Therefore, B.
  • In the structure Sentence 1. それで Sentence 2., it’s possible that Sentence 1 represents a statement by some speaker, and Sentence 2 represents a listener’s inference based on the speaker’s statement.
    • A: 昨日きのう大川おおがわくんとピンポンの試合しあいをしたんだ。B: それで、先週せんしゅうあたらしいラケットをったんですね。[A: Yesterday I had a ping pong match with Ogawa-kun. B: So that’s why he bought a new paddle last week, isn’t it?] In this example, Speaker A states that he played ping pong with Ogawa-kun. Speaker B then infers that the ping pong match was the reason that Ogawa-kun bought the ping pong paddle.
  • それで is similar in meaning to ので. The difference is that ので is a subordinating conjunction that combines the two sentences into a single sentence. それで, on the other hand, links two distinct sentences. The effect is that ので connects the two sentences more intimately than それで does. A further difference is that ので places strong emphasis on the cause, while それで emphasizes the effect.
    • E.g. A: ちょっと大阪おおさか用事ようじがありました。B: ああ、それでいらっしゃらなかったんですね 。[A: I had some errands to do in Osaka. B: Oh, I see. So that’s why you weren’t there.] Note that there are two distinct sentences in this example.
    • E.g. ちょっと大阪おおさか用事ようじがあったので昨日きのういなかったんです。[Because I had some errands to due in Osaka, I wasn’t there yesterday.] Note that the two sentences have been linked by a subordinating conjunction (i.e. ので).
  • それで is also similar in meaning to だから, and the two are generally interchangeable when Sentence 1 represents a reason or cause for Sentence 2. However, the differences are:
    • (1) Just like ので, だから conveys a fairly strong cause-effect relationship relative to それで.
      • E.g. ちょっと大阪おおさか用事ようじがありました。だから昨日きのういなかったんです。[I had some errands to do in Osaka. Therefore, I was not here yesterday.]
    • (3) だから tends to express personal opinion or volition, while それで tends to express situations that naturally follow from some cause regardless of volition. In other words, だから should be used with commands, requests, or personal opinions instead of それで.
      • E.g. *今日きょういそがしいです。それで明日あしたてください。[I am busy today. For that reason, please come tomorrow.] This sentence is ungrammatical because それて cannot be used with a volitional statement such as a request. だから should be used instead.
      • E.g. 今日きょういそがしいです。だから明日あしたてください。[I am busy today. Therefore, please come tomorrow.]

Example Sentences:

昨日きのうはかぜをひきました。それで学校がっこうやすんだんです。[I caught a cold yesterday. That’s why I stayed home from school.]

A: 昨日きのう大川おおがわくんとピンポンの試合しあいをしたんだ。B: それで、先週せんしゅうあたらしいラケットをったんですね。[A: Yesterday I had a ping pong match with Ogawa-kun. B: So that’s why he bought a new paddle last week, isn’t it?]

E.g. A: ちょっと大阪おおさか用事ようじがありました。B: ああ、それでいらっしゃらなかったんですね 。[A: I had some errands to do in Osaka. B: Oh, I see. So that’s why you weren’t there.]

WILD Examples:

Listen to this line from 1:55: それでなにわったかい? それでなに満足まんぞくかい [In that case, has anything changed? In that case, does anything satisfy you?]
Listen to this line at 3:55: だからぼくは、だからぼく音楽おんがくめた [That’s why I, That’s why I quit music]

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