There are a few expressions in Japanese where particle で is used but I don't really know which で that one is. それで (translated as and then; after that; due to that) is one of those cases. I basically understand there are two particle で; one used to indicate means of doing something, the use of a tool, and the other で used to indicate a state, condition or form as in である. Probably, most other uses stem from these two categories, so which of these two で is the one used in それで?


それで would be like saying "being that (the reason)"....? If so, in my mind this で is the one used in である.

1 Answer 1


The で in それで is a marker for reason or cause.

There is another usage of 「で」in addition to the usages you stated in your question. This is 「で」as a marker for reason or cause.


Due to A, B.

When using で as a marker for reason or cause, there is a constraint: the result clause cannot be volitional, i.e. it has to be an action or event the speaker does not have control over, or he/she is somehow required to do regardless of his/her will. For this reason, this pattern is common when explaining the results of an accident, a natural disaster or an illness.


So, the それ is a pronoun that refers to the cause or reason and the で indicates that what comes after is the result of それ. You may think of it like this:


「朝寝坊した」→ それ → それ仕事に遅れたんだ。

IMHO, the で in それで is neither of the usages you proposed in your question but a third, different one.

I do not know about the way the different usages of で came about. I just would learn them as different usages anyway. Can you elaborate more on this or provide a source?

Probably, most other uses stem from these two categories

Thank you!

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