So I remember that back in the day I learnt that things in Japanese were explained by using から or an explanatory particle の and then the more formal version of から is ので.

Ever since then I've just ran with the fact that から says that you're going to give a reason and の simply makes it sound like you're stating a fact or explaining something but I'm curious if there are any specific grammatical differences or nuances that specifically distinguish the two and how ので fits into all of this. Is it merely a more polite から or is different from both of them?

2 Answers 2


So-called "explanatory の" has many functions and it's not a good idea to look for a direct equivalent in English. See this answer and this one, and you can see that の is used way more casually than "because". Using "because" to translate の is sometimes okay, but unacceptable in many cases.

ので and から are both "because", which is something you use to explicitly denote a reason. The difference between them is a frequently asked question on this site. See the following questions.

ので and から are not interchangeable in many cases. When it's interchangeable, ので may sound a bit milder and thus tends to be used in formal situations.



ex-1: 雨が降りそうだから、傘を持って行きます。
It looks like rain. I'll take my umbrella. (I'll take my umbrella, because it looks like rain.)


ex-2: 雨が降りそうなので、傘を持って行きます。

These two have the same meaning and interchangeable as colloquial expression.

「から」と「ので」にあるわずかな違い There is slight difference between the two.

ex-3: 君が『もういらない』って言ったから、あの本は捨てたよ。You said you no longer needed it. So I threw it out.
ex-4: 君が『もういらない』って言ったので、あの本は捨てたよ。

I feel ex-3 is more argumentative style than ex-4.

ex-5: そよ風が吹{ふ}いたから、心地よかった。A litte breeze made me feel good.
ex-6: そよ風が吹いたので、心地よかった。

The difference is slight, but I like the expression ex-6, bcause a little breeze always makes us feel good. Therer is no need to have an argumentative expression.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .