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
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 17:52
  • 4
    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
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 22:42
  • 1
    aren't they different types of で? particle-で and conjunction-で (which I understood was a shortened version of です)
    – momerathe
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 11:33
  • 5
    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
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 16:47
  • 1
    Is this part of a conversation? If so could you post the conversation in its entirety?
    – dotnetN00b
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 21:28

1 Answer 1


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.

  • 1
    We do not say 「それが元として」 (and it was over a year ago when this question was asked).
    – user4032
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 0:48
  • 2
    well, sorry for trying to participate, I just hit the Unaswered button and gave it my best shot. Yeah, it should be sore WO moto to shite, my bad.
    – sova
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 2:56
  • 8
    By the way, answering old questions is totally okay―it doesn't matter if the question was asked over a year ago.
    – user1478
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 19:04
  • "Bumping" old questions is perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged, when you have something new to contribute. And old/unanswered questions even get bumped by the software every now and then.
    – blutorange
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 9:49
  • Such as it did by the software right now.
    – blutorange
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 21:05

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