How can one differentiate a cause from a succession in a sentence using ~くて / で ?

In my book, these sentences are given as examples of successions of terms :

1- この店{みせ}は安{やす}くて,べんりです。

2- ここは新{あたら}しい町{まち}で、人気{にんき}があります。

Those are given as examples of causes :

3- このレモン ジュースはつめたくて、とてもおいしいです。

4- ストレスであまりねられません。

How do I know if I have to translate with an "and" or a "therefore"? It may be obvious for some sentences as the last one or even the first one, but what about the other two?

Am I missing something? A grammatical point?

1 Answer 1


How do you know in English? The degree to which て/で represent causality versus things being simply sequential is ambiguous in nearly the same way that and is ambiguous in the same role in English.

Consider sentences like

The door was locked and I couldn't open it.

I ate too much for lunch and skipped dinner.

I brushed my teeth and left for work.

Which range from obviously causal to obviously just sequential. (Assuming English is your native language) these may look much easier to interpret, but they're really no different from:




This is just to say that you are not really missing anything - you just need to be willing to apply the same skills you use in English every day to sentences in Japanese.

That said, cases where Japanese speakers want to be explicit about causality they will typically use から/ので in the same way English speakers will use because or so, so it's safe in many cases to translate て/で as and. It just may sometimes be a fairly causal and.

Edit: also see て used as "because"?


You must log in to answer this question.

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