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寒くて、窓を閉めてください

I thought it can mean:

Since it's cold, please close the window.

The book said we cannot use words that express speakers intent in the form of requests, order, permissions, or invitations such as てください、しろ、ませんか. So the above text is a wrong sample.

I have a hard time understanding what is wrong with it.

  • Maybe this is what they mean: japanese-language.aiyori.org/article3.html – kuchitsu Jun 10 '16 at 7:52
  • Which part of the sentence is supposedly incorrect, according to the book? 窓を閉めてください seems correct (as long as it is social-status-appropriate, e.g., as per kuchitsu's link). I don't know if 寒くて is wrong, but 寒いから窓を閉めてください seems more natural to my ears (eg a mom might ask her kid to close a window like this). – WeirdlyCheezy Jun 10 '16 at 8:30
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    If it read 「寒いから、…」 or 「寒いので、…」 it might work; the AてB form that implies reason IMO makes it sound outright wrong. – oals Jun 10 '16 at 8:30
  • @WeirdlyCheezy the book part is talking about explaining reason and result with -て, and adding information that "you cannot use words that express speakers intent in the form of requests, order, permissions, or invitations such as てください、しろ、ませんか".With no other explanations. The wrong part was the てください . So is the book just trying to say about what kuchitsu link is talking about? – Alice28 Jun 10 '16 at 8:46
  • @oals yes, I think what you thought of is what the book want to teach about. But I don't understand since in my understanding, "Cold" is the reason, and so "Please close the window". Is make sense... Could you help to explain why it sounds wrong? Is it due to the "social-status-appropriateness" or is it other things? – Alice28 Jun 10 '16 at 8:49
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I am not sure if in this case this is related to politeness as suggested in some comments (my feeling is that this sentence would be weird in general, regardless of the speakers social statuses/connections but maybe I'm wrong). I guess politeness could come in in a sentence like:

寒いので、窓を閉めて下さい。

The above is perfectly correct but it's usage might require some care depending who you are talking to.

Anyway, I believe that the expression discussed in your question is not correct under a purely grammatical point of view as a ~て for example, is followed only by sentences expressing an objective description or development/course of events. So, it would be incorrect if what follows is something that might depend on the action of someone else, such as a request or an order.

There is an explanation in Japanese here, that seems to be related to what you are asking. Read this part for example:  

実は、文には「客観的な叙述文・成り行きを示す文」とか、「話し手の意志や判断を表す文」とか、「相手への働きかけのある文」といった違いがあるのです。「~と、~」や、理由を表す「~て、~」の文の文末には、「客観的な叙述文・成り行きを示す文」しか来ないのです。だから、「寒くて窓を閉めました」はいいのですが、「寒くて窓を閉めます」と言うと、話し手の意志が出るから、変な感じがするのです。

Now I wonder if the sentence you are discussing should be considered totally wrong or just "imprecise", since in the above it just defines it as "変な感じ" rather than saying that it is wrong.

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  • Ah. I understand now. So the て is used to connect natural [action & reaction]. It was improper because giving order is not a natural reaction but more toward a response to something. Thank you – Alice28 Jun 10 '16 at 9:27
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I'm Japanese and I answer from my point of view.

寒くて、窓を閉めてください

This above sounds just weird

But if I add some words and make a sentence like below, it could be said

ごめんなさい、ちょっと寒くて、窓を閉めてください

The point is that Japanese as a language does not have strict grammar rules like they do in English

Whether a sentence sound natural or not sometimes depend on culture or just if people are used to hear the sentence, especially for speaking Japanese.

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  • It would be helpful if you explain as to why it feels weird to you as a native :) – Alice28 Jun 10 '16 at 13:13
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    I now think understood what making it confusing. If using て under a rule of @Tommy's quote, a request or an order cannot follow. Beside, usage of て in my example is a totally different grammar. In my case, you use a verb with て and you state an action or felling or etc. cause from the verb action. But you need to put some word(s) before a verb, like "今"いそがしくて, "最近元気がなくて". I cannot explain way you have to put word(s) before but without it, the sentence is very unnatural. I think you might be confusing those two rules. – Bigair Jun 10 '16 at 14:35
  • Even in English, there aren't really "strict grammar rules" (as much as prescriptivists may complain); there are only things that sound more or less natural. It's just that English tends to have a smaller range of what sounds natural in terms of structure. – JAB Jun 10 '16 at 16:13
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    @Alice28 て which indicates reason and cause is used as Tommy said. And て in ちょっと寒くて is used as feeling, so this sentence make sense like "Sorry, I feel a bit cold. Can you close the window?". – Yuuichi Tam Jun 10 '16 at 16:47
  • @yuuichi tam i see. What is the formula for the feelings with て? – Alice28 Jun 10 '16 at 16:52

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