I know that when in a sentence-final position が and けど can be used as softeners or to convey hedging, but in some situations understanding them as such doesn't feel right. Although my brain instinctively wants to interpret them as "though", I can't think of any reason that would be correct. Here's an example from a story, spoken from the point of view of the narrator:


Would translating it as something like this be wrong:

"He is the sole survivor. Though of course, it's because there's a reason he survived."

I can't understand how だが's usage here would indicate hedging or softening, but "though" doesn't make sense either. Could someone help me get this?

1 Answer 1


The purpose of that structure is making "無論、生き残ったのには理由があるからなのだ" into a subordinate clause for "彼は唯一の生き残り", in other words, those are one sentence divided by period. It enhances an effect like "He - of course, it's because there's a reason he survived - is the sole survivor".

  • 1
    Thanks a lot for your reply. I see what you mean about the connection between the lines. Apologies, but there's something I still don't understand. So this structure enhances an effect, but how is it grammatically possible? Can I ask, why use が or けど at the end of the second line? Could it be that the the two lines are actually backwards, kinda like "怖い。それは..."?
    – ElSigh
    Commented Aug 22, 2015 at 4:34
  • Using が is a sort of reservation. It is a way of lowering your confidence/bluntness. If you were talking to a store worker, a patron could say 毛糸を買いたいのですが; が from a translation standpoint turns "I want to buy yarn" into "I would like to buy yarn [but...could you help me?]."
    – BigRigz
    Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 14:32
  • I agree with the basic interpretation, but I think your use of the term "subordinate clause" is wrong. I'm pretty sure が here is effectively a conjunction (not subordination), just being used in an inverted way (so, yes, basically what you suggested @ElSigh).. If you switch the order of the two parts, it actually makes perfect sense, the order is just inverted here for effect. (so I'd really interpret it as meaning basically "although".)
    – Foogod
    Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 19:54

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