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私は自分では淋しくも何ともないから、彼女と私とでは、一般的にいう「不幸」という点で、どっこいどっこいのような気がするのだが、彼女は自分のほうが私よりも「ちょっと幸せ」だと感じているのだろう、結婚には失敗したけれど、子供が三人いる。これが彼女が私よりも幸せだと思う最大の理由だと推理したのである。

What is the meaning of のだろう here and how does it connect to the rest of the sentence?

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  • I had been interpreting this のだろう in the sense of "she probably thinks she's happier than me", but after reading this comment it sounds more like "I wonder if she thinks she's happier than me" (stream of consciousness: she's actively wondering) Feb 4 '15 at 4:24
  • I am curious about the 「因果関係」 between 「私は自分では淋しくも何ともない」before 「から」 and the rest after 「から」. And, what is the 「で」 in 「彼女と私とでは」 for?
    – null
    Feb 4 '15 at 6:32
  • 1
    @ogicu8abruok It would be "She probably thinks she is ~~". The point I was trying to make with my comment was that one should not approach and assess the syntax of this sentence like one would that of a "regular" sentence from regular prose. It contains 6 commas and a ~~のだろう in the middle for a purpose. Feb 4 '15 at 10:17
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That だろう in question is not special.

(Assuming this paragraph is exactly the same as the original) I think the confusing problem is that the author used punctuation marks clumsily (with a certain intention, maybe). Read this paragraph like this:

  1. 私は自分では淋しくも何ともないから、彼女と私とでは、一般的にいう「不幸」という点で、どっこいどっこいのような気がする。
  2. だが、彼女は自分のほうが私よりも「ちょっと幸せ」だと感じているのだろう。
  3. (なぜなら、彼女は)結婚には失敗したけれど、子供が三人いる。
  4. これ(=子供が三人いること)が彼女が私よりも幸せだと思う最大の理由だと(私は)推理したのである。

This is definitely 読みにくい文章, so don't worry too much.

3
  • So (3) is providing reasons for the narrator's guess/assumption in (2)? I guess it just seems like there's a missing conjunction of some kind. Feb 3 '15 at 13:04
  • Perhaps. I feel English writers could have used a semicolon after (2), but there is no such thing as a semicolon in Japanese. Usually we can just split the sentence, and insert "after all", "that is to say", or whatever, between (2) and (3).
    – naruto
    Feb 3 '15 at 14:09
  • The real "mid-sentence" のだろう exists, too. but, as naruto says, something wrong happens in this case. I'd say the clause 彼女~のだろう is "dangling". Feb 3 '15 at 18:17
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"-だろう" is the meaning of "guess" or "think" or "wonder" and so.

This is "彼女は自分のほうが私よりも「ちょっと幸せ」だと感じているのだ" and "だろう".
"彼女は自分のほうが私よりも「ちょっと幸せ」だと感じているのだろう" is omitted first "だ".

"彼女は感じているのだろう。" -> "I think she feels."

Note:
(Where "彼女" is "A". "私" is "B")

"...のだろう、結婚には失敗したけれど、子供が三人いる。"
It reasons that "A" is feeling.
"これが彼女が私よりも幸せだと思う最大の理由だと推理したのである。"
"B" was reasoning it.

Thus, Is equal to the following.
"私は [彼女は自分のほうが私よりも「ちょっと幸せ」だと感じているのだろう]と推理したのである。理由は[結婚には失敗したけれど、子供が三人いる]である。

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  • But why does the sentence continue after のだろう? Feb 3 '15 at 6:04
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That のだろう indicates the preceding part is what the speaker is guessing. And it's not directly related to the rest of the sentence, just two sentences that share the same subject wrapped together.

  1. 彼女は自分のほうが私よりも「ちょっと幸せ」だと感じているのだろう
  2. (彼女は) 結婚には失敗したけれど、子供が三人いる

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