In a few songs I've heard recently I've noticed that なんです(nan desu) (without the か) has been used in what seems to be maybe a declarative or emphatic sense (not really sure), is this possible?

I'm not overly familiar with usage of nan desu outside of it being used in the question sense (i.e. なんですか nan desu ka). If someone could clarify uses of nan desu I would be super appreciative.


There is なのです (often contracted to なんです), which fits the bill. Just like you suspect, it is declarative/emphatic.

This なんです is unrelated to 何{なん}です, but rather a combination of な (the inflection of the copula だ, if you like), the nominalizer の plus the "politifier" です.

It also exists in non-polite form: なのだ・なんだ.

It really appears everywhere, e.g. as a conjunction なので or question marker ~なんですか. (Again, unrelated to 何.)

  • 3
    Very informative, thanks for the clarification!
    – mattb
    Feb 22 '14 at 16:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.