As far as I know, くて and で can be used in conjunction with te-form to join multiple sentences in Japanese.

But can the same thing be done in plain form?

I get the opinion that it can from my Year 11 Japanese teacher. Out of my joint script for an interactive oral task, my teacher identified the following sentences as having room for improvement:

J:また僕は言語が 好きで、面白くて、たくさん学んでいます。

T: エレクトロニクスは面白くて、楽しくてら、一番好きな科目です。

He said something along the lines of plain form needing to be used to connect the sentences, whilst finishing with the kara clause for both sentences.

My teacher also said that 面白い is the same in plain form, which means that no auxiliary suffix would be needed to connect sentences where the word appears. But what about for 好きな, which is a na-adjective?

I am very confused by this and I may not have time to get clarification from my teacher. My ultimate question here is, is sentence-joining plausible using plain form?

  • 3
    Is 「楽しくてら」 a typo for something? – oals Sep 7 '16 at 6:05
  • My group member wrote that sentence; I think it should be「楽しいですから」, if that's what you mean. @oals – Mad Banners Sep 7 '16 at 7:52
  • I'm confused by this question too... First of all, what do you actually want to join? Two sentences (Sentence J and Sentence T)? Two adjectives? or two verbs? – naruto Sep 7 '16 at 9:13
  • What's the difference? @naruto – Mad Banners Sep 7 '16 at 9:14
  • @MadBanners A sentence means everything from the first capital letter and the last period (or a question mark, etc). A sentence can be 100 words long. A paragraph consists of one or more sentences, a sentence consists of words and phrases. So you're talking about joining two adjectives? – naruto Sep 7 '16 at 9:21

I'm still unsure what you want to join here. Perhaps you actually want to join two clauses or two adjectives, not two sentences. Please read this carefully if you don't know the difference between words, phrases, clauses, and sentences. The link is about English language but almost everything in the link can be applied to Japanese, too.

[×] 僕は言語が好きで、面白くて、たくさん学んでいます。
([×] I like languages, am interesting, and learn them a lot.)

This sentence is ungrammatical, but the problem is not about verb/adjective forms but about an inconsistent topic. This sentence tries to say these three things in parallel, right?

  • 僕は言語が好きです。 I like languages.
  • 言語は面白いです。 Languages are interesting.
  • 僕は言語をたくさん学んでいます。 I learn languages a lot.

Each sentence makes perfect sense. But can you see the second sentence above has a different topic marked by は? In the first and third sentences you're talking about 僕, using 僕 as the topic. But the second sentence uses 言語 as the topic. Note that you cannot say [×]僕は言語が面白い; it's ungrammatical.

The sentence you made is ungrammatical because the first 僕は works as the topic throughout this sentence. The second part would sound as if you were saying 僕は面白い ("I am a funny person")!

There are many ways to fix this sentence.

  • 僕は言語が好きで、たくさん学んでいます。言語は面白いです。
    I like languages and learn them a lot. Languages are interesting.
    (Simple and clean: Split this into two sentences, and use only one topic per sentence.)
  • 僕は言語が好きで、言語は面白くて、僕はたくさん学んでいます。
    I like languages, and languages are interesting, and I learn them a lot.
    (Explicitly switch the topic for each clause. It looks poorly written, but works)
  • 僕は言語が好きで、言語は面白いからたくさん学んでいます。
    I like languages and learn them a lot because languages are interesting.
    (Here 言語は面白いから is a subordinate clause that adverbially modifies 学ぶ. This 言語は works as a "temporary" topic that is effective only in this subordinate clause. The topic of 学んで is 僕 again.)
  • 僕は言語が好きです。言語は面白いからたくさん学んでいます。
    I like languages. I learn languages a lot because they are interesting.
    (Almost the same as above. から introduces a subordinate clause, which means you can have a different temporary topic in that clause. The main topic of the second sentence is still 僕, which is omitted.)

However I don't know what your teacher wanted to mean by saying "plain form". Usually the plain form cannot be used on its own to connect two things inside one sentence. Maybe your teacher wanted you to split this sentence into two? Or if you presented this sentence orally to your teacher, maybe your teacher took it as two sentences (i.e., there are two periods) and said "A sentence must not end with a te-form".

  • エレクトロニクスは面白くて、楽しいですから、一番好きな科目です。
  • エレクトロニクスは面白くて、楽しくて、一番好きな科目です。
  • エレクトロニクスは面白くて、楽しいです。一番好きな科目です。

(楽しくてら is obviously a typo.) These are all valid because エレクトロニクス can safely work as the topic of the three predicates (面白い, 楽しい and 一番好きな科目だ) here. The third line consists of two sentences, and the first sentence ends with a plain-form.

|improve this answer|||||
  • Thank you. I've learnt a lot from communicating with you, including what clauses are. At the advice of a Japanese friend I rendered that first sentence as また面白くて、沢山習っていて、それに僕は言語が好きだから一番好きな科目です。The second sentence was changed to エレクトロニクスは面白くて楽しいから一番好きな科目です。I still don't know what my teacher meant, but it doesn't seem vitally important. – Mad Banners Sep 8 '16 at 3:34

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.