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What exactly does な particle mean when used with わけ?
Example (pulled from Google):

あいつが犯人なわけがないじゃないか.

I know exactly what this sentence means, but I'm just a little unsure on what the な is doing there? I couldn't find a suitable answer in my dictionary, the only thing I can thing of is it being another form of だ.

Thank you in advance.

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1 Answer 1

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You're right, this is a form of だ. You're probably used to seeing な following na-adjectives. It can be considered the form of だ that appears before nouns:

キレイだ    ←  Here, だ ends a clause.
キレイな花   ←  Here, だ changes to な before the noun 花.

But when だ follows a regular noun, it typically doesn't take the な form. The main exception is when it comes before certain noun-like things including わけ and の:

リンゴだ   ←  Here, だ ends a clause.
リンゴなの  ←  Here, だ changes to な before the nominalizer の.

The same thing happens in your sentence:

あいつが犯人だ    ←  Here, だ ends a clause.
あいつが犯人なわけ  ←  Here, だ changes to な before the formal noun わけ.

It changes form to な.

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  • Thank you for the answer, it's nice to have my thoughts on it being a form of だ confirmed. Just one point though, snailboat. You say that the な in na-adjectives is also a form of だ, but the textbook I used to use said that the な state of being and the な in na-adjectives have nothing to do with each other. Does that mean my text book was wrong? It is a very popular textbook too (called "Japanese the manga way")
    – user4096
    May 11, 2014 at 20:34
  • Historically they're the exact same だ, although you can treat them as separate things if you like as a matter of theory.
    – user1478
    May 11, 2014 at 20:52

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