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Happy 2018 everyone! And I'm (a little) belatedly kicking it off with a question that may quite possibly be a duplicate, but I thought I'd risk it anyway. I quick searched it but there are so many instances of の/んです の/んだ here it would have taken me hours to go through them.

It's the first of several questions, all regarding the の/んです の/んだ construction. I've read everything my text books have to offer on the matter, but I'm still not managing to grasp certain particular uses — or in this case lack thereof — of it.

My question is, when の/んです の/んだ refers to a situation or state of being, as per the following example:

クリスマスの前デパートはいつも込んでいるんです。Before Christmas, the department stores are crowded.

...why is it omitted in this example, which likewise describes a situation or state of being:?

お花見の時はどこへ行っても、人がいっぱいです。During cherry blossom viewing season, there are lots of people wherever you go.

Any help would be much appreciated.

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I think you did not refer to the right chapter of your textbook. If you have already read the proper explanation about this の, you should know it's mainly for explanation or clarification. Think of this の as a milder version of "that is to say", "because", "I mean", etc. Your first sentence, "クリスマスの前デパートはいつも込んでいるんです。", is not a natural sentence without a previous context. It must be preceded by something that sets up a context, for example "今日はデパートに行きたくありません。". Your example about お花見 is natural if it appeared at the very beginning of an article.

Here are some links that will help you:

  • (at naruto; still unable to tag) Thanks for the links. I'm well aware of の/んです being used for the purpose of explanation, but the examples given (the ones I copied) don't seem to reflect that. My textbook lists の/んです as 1. explanation, excuse, or clarification; 2. describing a situation or state; 3. questioning; 4. doubt; 5. requests. – oh no the klaxons Jan 8 '18 at 19:06
  • My first example was from point #2. My second didn't actually pertain to の/んです; I found it elsewhere in the book and thought it resembled a construction where の/んです would usually be. Hope that makes sense. – oh no the klaxons Jan 8 '18 at 19:10
  • @ohnotheklaxons Anyway, both of your examples safely take の/ん (こんでいるんです, いっぱいなんです) or do not take の (こんでいます, いっぱいです). But ones with の are incorrect as the first sentence of a discourse. I don't know what your textbook wants to explain by "2. describing a situation or state". – naruto Jan 8 '18 at 20:38

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