4

Take for example the following sentence,

Since I didn't have time, I couldn't go, so I declined the offer.

Here we have two cause–effect statements:

  • Since I didn't have time, I couldn't go. (時間がなかったから、行けなかった。)
  • I couldn't go, so I declined the offer. (行けなかったから、申し出を断った。)

Would it be natural to combine the two Japanese sentences and write

時間がなかったから、行けなかったから、申し出を断った。

I don't recall ever a sentence with two からs (or のでs) in such close succession of each other. If I were to change the first から into し, I would get

時間がなかったし、行けなかったから、申し出を断った。

However, this seems to imply

  • 時間がなかったから、申し出を断った
  • 行けなかったから、申し出を断った

which is different from what I want to say. What's the most natural way of connecting two cause–effect statements? In English I think this most often takes the form "Since ____, ____, so _____."

6

"(A caused B) and that in turn caused C."

"(B happened because of A) and that made C happen as a result."

The easiest and safest way to express these ideas without sounding awkward and unnatural would be to not use two conjunctions like in your example sentences above -- から + から、から + ので、ので + ので, etc.

Instead, one could use only a single conjunction and a 連用形{れんようけい} (continuative form) or a te-form.

連用形 and single conjunction:

「時間がなく行けなかったので、お断りした。」

「なく」 is the 連用形 of 「ない」. One of the important roles of 連用形 is to describe a reason/cause, remember?

Te-form + single conjunction:

「時間がなくて行けなかったので、お断りした。」

The te-form can also be used to state a reason/cause.

Please remember that between the two sentences above, the second one using the te-form sounds more casual to the native ear.

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