5

この部屋はシャワーだけお風呂がないんですが。
=> "This apartment only has a shower but no bathtub"

This would be what I think this sentence says contentwise. I also think it could be a viable translation, but the way its expressed confuses me.

First, I'm not sure if I understood the overall syntax of the sentence correctly. It seems to me that 部屋 is the topic here, but I dont think that it's the subject of the following clause.

"Concerning the apartment, with the shower only there is no bath."

Second, I'm struggling with the connection of

シャワーだけ

and

お風呂がない

Since I assume that the sentence says that there is a shower, but no bathtub, attaching both nominal phrases (shower and bathtub) to the predicative ない gives me a headache.

And here, the third unclarity comes into play.

What is this で? Is it the particle I was assuming? If so, are there any phrases omitted as well? I just can't imagine how shower and bathtub shall be connected to ない, so there must be an omitted verbal phrase expressing the existence of shower. Its either that or maybe you can explain how japanese can express the existence of something with a verb that's actually stating the non-existence of something ^^

  • 1
    How could that be a particle? Highly related : japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/24917/… – l'électeur Jul 3 '17 at 9:17
  • Thanks! My textbook never explained to me that で can be continuative form of だ. This should be the case in context of な adjective + で as well right? My textbook only taught me that this is the continuative form な adjective, but not that this で is the conjugated, continuative form of だ. Thanks again! – Narktor Jul 3 '17 at 9:27
  • I just wonder now: If multiple elements are chained by the continuative form, how is it determined wether these elements are negated or affirmed? Here's a small example: この公園は綺麗で大きくないです。 "This park is beautiful and (but?) not big." Is this sentence even grammatical? Or would this require other constructions? Is my translation of the sentence of my OP correct? Because this is kind of the reason for my follow up question now, since I don't know wether what I translated can be expressed through such constructions or not.^^ – Narktor Jul 3 '17 at 9:36
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    @Narktor: "...綺麗で大きくない..." is" beautiful, but not big", and yes, your interpretation of the sentence in your OP is correct. The distinction your yourself identified between the topic and the subject is key here. It is a very compact way of saying: "Let me tell you about the room. It only has a shower, but no bath." – Philippe Jul 3 '17 at 13:15
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    I think この公園は綺麗で大きくないです means "This park is beautiful and not big.", 綺麗で is a continuous form of 綺麗だ. If you want to say "This park is beautiful but not big.", you can use だが, だけど like この公園は綺麗だけど大きくないです. – Yuuichi Tam Jul 3 '17 at 15:22
6

この部屋はシャワーだけだ makes sense at least in conversation. It means something like "This room is shower-only" by itself. この部屋はシャワーだ (literally "This room is a shower") sounds weird in isolation, but it still makes sense in the context where you're talking about which room is equipped with what. It's in the same vein English speakers occasionally say "I'm coffee" at a restaurant.

So it's simply the two sentences said together: この部屋はシャワーだけだ and この部屋はお風呂がない. This で is the te-form of the copula だ.

EDIT: Sentences like この部屋はシャワーだ and 私はコーヒーだ are sometimes called うなぎ文 ("eel sentence"). They may look illogical at first, but are not uncommon in topic-prominent languages like Japanese.

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    When discussing eel-sentences, people often approximate the effect in English by using "as for" (or "regarding the", "speaking of" etc.) plus extra pronouns: "(As for) the room, (it')s a shower-only (one)". It's not very natural English, but it helped me wrap my head about it. – melboiko Jul 3 '17 at 15:52
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    These so-called "eel sentences" can also happen in English, in specific situations where the context is otherwise clear. Your restaurant example is perfect. Imagine a server comes to the table with a tray of plates and cups. "Who is the coffee?" would be a strange question in other circumstances, but in this case, it makes perfect sense. "Oh, I'm the coffee, and she's the hot chocolate." Japanese as a language, and as a speech community, makes more use of contextual meta-information than English, and thus "eel sentences" are more common in Japanese. But they do happen in English. :) – Eiríkr Útlendi Jul 3 '17 at 17:00

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