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These all seem to be used for explanation... when do you use one over the other? Could you offer some examples?

To clarify about の, I am talking about its use in providing information, like, 昨日、デパートに行ったんです

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I am pretty sure you have seen some examples where these words are used for explanation. (Otherwise why would they seem to be used in that way in the first place?) Please include examples in the question. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 3 '13 at 9:50
Can you rephrase your question by using more words? By の, are you referring to the の in phrases such as のです and のである? If so, I do not understand why it is grouped with わけ and 理由, which are nouns. –  非回答者 Nov 4 '13 at 10:04
@Tokyo Nagoya: I have some idea on why OP grouped の with わけ and 理由, but I’d rather wait for OP to edit the question than editing it by myself. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 4 '13 at 12:50
I can understand the grouping of の・わけ and わけ・理由 but not the grouping of all three... –  rintaun Nov 4 '13 at 14:22
I still do not understand what OP wants to find out. I feel like what he is trying to ask is a very good question, though. He definitely needs to use more words. More specific the questions, the better answers he will get. –  非回答者 Nov 7 '13 at 0:10

1 Answer 1

I can think of two uses of の that the OP could be referring to:

(1) 現金を郵便で送るのは禁止されてますよ。 (の as a nominalizer). "Sending cash in the mail is prohibited."

(2) のです/んです。 --> as in to emphasize the preceding piece of information (which I take to also be a case of nominalization). But as an emphasis, this can express the reason why someone was late: 中止されたんです。 (It was because the train was stopped)

In terms of わけ, わけ functions as a reason within a sentence or conversation. So we often would translate it in Cf. そこまでボールを投げたわけがない。 as "there's no way I can hit a ball that far". There's no possibly way of hitting it that far, i.e. there is no rhyme or reason enabling that.

理由 on the other hand is properly speaking reason or reasons. 三つの理由があります. (There are three reasons). If you prefer, you can think of 理由 as "logical reason" and in general you shouldn't just drop this into the middle of an explanation that isn't founded on reasoning.

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Your sentence そこでボールを投げるわけ、私たちが彼に叱れた makes no sense to my Japanese-speaking mind, sorry to say. And neither does 電車が中止されたのです. –  非回答者 Nov 5 '13 at 8:58

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