I think this sentence:


means something like "Since they get too much sunlight, they are shabby trees", but while I know ために I can't find anything about ためか in my grammars; I was wondering if they have the same meaning.


1 Answer 1


No, ためか and ために don't mean the same thing -- just as か and に do not mean the same thing.

The か in ためか is the same か used as the verbal question mark. This indicates uncertainty and indefiniteness.

(Separately, I'm pretty sure you have a typo, where ささまい should be ささない instead.)

If the sentence said あまり日がささないため[に]{●}, that would be a definite reason. However, the sentence instead says あまり日がささないため[か]{●}, indicating that the speaker is uncertain, and is proposing a possible theoretical reason for the observed result. In English, we would use words like maybe, perhaps, possibly, and the like to express a similar idea.

  • 1
    You could be right on the typo: I wasn't able to find the phrase in the text, so I went with what I wrote down, but when I first translated it by memory I translated あまり as "not much", which means I was remembering a negative verb afterwards.
    – Mauro
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 17:58

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