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I stumbled upon the following sentence:

ねてるわけなんですけども

As I understand it, ねて means the fact/means of sleeping, and the ending ~なんですけども is short for ~なんですけれども and here is a polite way of making an excuse and refusing something.

So if I'm correct the sentence should mean that the person needs to sleep so she can't accept whatever proposition was asked previously.

Is my interpretation correct? And what is the meaning of るわけ?

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    Does this answer your question? Does the ''te form'' literally mean something on its own? Jan 28 at 1:14
  • No, this is not what I was asking. What I struggled with was the meaning of the expression るわけ which A. Ellet deconstructed and explained clearly. Jan 28 at 12:52
  • My point is that, since るわけ isn't an expression, and since the interesting part of the question is therefore about the meaning of ねてる = ねている, all you really need to understand is the te-iru form. And if you saw ねて followed by る and concluded that the る was conceptually "attached to" the next bit instead of the ねて, that implies a thought process wherein the て form "means something on its own". But this form is incomplete and inherently connective; even when spoken by itself, there's something implied (perhaps ください). The question I linked was the best I could find to explain that. Jan 28 at 12:56
  • You are partially correct, and the post you linked did enlighten me on this topic. I thank you for this. However, my question isn't answered only by the necessity of the て-form to be complete since I also failed to understand the meaning of わけ in the sentence, which was the most important part of my question (I tried renaming the title of the post to Meaning of the expression わけ but apparently one cannot do this). Jan 28 at 13:18

1 Answer 1

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There is no word るわけ. The る goes with the verb ねて.

ねてる is short for ねている, "[someone] is sleeping".

So what you have here is

ねている + わけ

Without further context, it's hard to say exactly what this means. If you provide more context, I could perhaps say a bit more. However, whoever is speaking is saying that [someone] is sleeping.


If we take a bit more a look at the sentence, we can analyze it's structure a bit more.

First, I'm going to strip it of its formality and leave the けども part aside since you say you already understand that much.

So, what we have is

ねてるわけなんだ

which is just a shortened form of

ねているわけなのだ

The のだ part here is the explanatory の and the copula だ. Often, this portion is not translated into English. But it's conveying an explanation for why something is the way it is (here's where context is important).

わけな is just わけ + な where な is attributive form of だ to be used before a noun. The noun in question is the explanatory の. わけ always feels a bit protean to me. It can mean "reason" or "cause" or "meaning". Here it feels (again we're missing context) like it's just asserting the situation.

If I were to try to translate this, I'd go with something like

Well, she's sleeping.

This is being offered as a reason for why the situation is currently as it is.

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  • I think the わけ here doesn't carry any concrete meaning, it's more of a 言い回し. However, looking up the definition of わけ other than being a synonym to 意味 or 理由, it's also defined as 「断定を幾分やわらげ、そういう事になるはずだという気持を添える言い方。」. So the speaker is just gonna sleep.
    – dvx2718
    Jan 27 at 13:35
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    @dvx2718 I've been hemming and hawing about what to say about わけ here. わけ has such a wide range of uses, but like you, it feels like it's just bringing out and asserting what the current situation is.
    – A.Ellett
    Jan 27 at 13:39
  • Thank you for your explanations ! I also didn't know the form ている could be shortened this way. Unfortunately I couln't find the rest of the conversation, if I do, I'll update this comment. However I remember that it was translated to something which has the same meaning of what you proposed (Well, she's sleeping). The part I was really not getting was the meaning of わけ. As you mentioned and according to the translation I think it meant the reason/cause then. Jan 27 at 14:54

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