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Another sentence from my JLPT practise book, this time in a section explaining the use of ものを.


I think this sentence is saying, "My friend who was having debt problems / if I had thought about helping I could have helped / but I forgot about it."

If I'm on the right track in the meaning, then I'm not sure what ものを is bringing to the party here.

Is this sentence equivalent:


If so, what extra meaning does ものを have that would make one choose to use it over けど?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

~ものを (sense [1]-1 in Daijisen) is similar to ~けど, but using ~ものを signifies the unsatisfactory feeling of the speaker. In your example, I think that using ~ものを instead of ~けど expresses the regret of the speaker.

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Just to be clear, if the sentence used けど instead, it would still be perfectly grammatical? I just want to be sure that strictly the only difference is the sense of disappointment. –  Questioner Nov 25 '11 at 4:10
@DaveMG: It is grammatical. But けど is slightly informal. けれど or けれども has the formality corresponding to ものを, and in these cases, I think that the only difference is the sense of dissatisfaction or disappointment. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 25 '11 at 4:22
Thanks for clearing up the level of formality. –  Questioner Nov 25 '11 at 4:25
Sorry, one more question... is ものを used in spoken Japanese, or is ot more confined to written Japanese? –  Questioner Nov 25 '11 at 4:26
@DaveMG: It is used both in speech and in writing, but I think that it is a little too formal to use casually. Others may have different opinions. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 25 '11 at 4:28

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