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I understand the meaning of this phrase, but I have a hard time understanding how it's constructed.

In phrases like それで or というわけで you have a noun plus the particle で. This looks superficially similar, except that それが元(です) is a sentence, not a noun (or noun phrase).

What's going on here? Is there a bunch of other stuff being left unspoken?

  • any context for where you're seeing it? – ssb Feb 7 '14 at 17:52
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    I have read this question several times and am thinking either the answer should already be obvious to you, or I don't understand what you're asking. Do you realize that you can have practically any sentence ending in で and then follow it by another sentence? – Earthliŋ Feb 7 '14 at 22:42
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    aren't they different types of で? particle-で and conjunction-で (which I understood was a shortened version of です) – momerathe Feb 8 '14 at 11:33
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    They're both the same; they're both the -て form of だ/です/である. There's a different で that's a particle, but that means something completely different. – Sjiveru Feb 8 '14 at 16:47
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    Is this part of a conversation? If so could you post the conversation in its entirety? – dotnetN00b Feb 10 '14 at 21:28
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Might be worthwhile rendering it into partial English:

So, with that as the 元, ...

And 元 can mean foundation, start, beginning, entranceway, original,... it could be rendered many ways.

Essentially, this construction requires that there be a preceding sentence/clause/word to point to. (それが)

You could also see it as

それが元となって, or それを元として, ...

So you're wondering if it's related to それで or というわけで

Kind-of. というわけで is literally "by way of the [mentioned] reason" or "for that reason" in more natural English. The で in the phrase you posted can also be interpreted as "by way of [this] 元... (something occurred) "

Well you asked this over a month ago, but I wrote out this response so, I'll post it in case it's useful to someone down the line.

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