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I came across a sentence that has puzzled me.

今度ばかりはいたずらでは済まされません。

Why is では used here?

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    do you have any sense of what the sentence says? the more you can provide about what you already understand the better we can help you.
    – A.Ellett
    Oct 21, 2020 at 23:50
  • Hi! Someone guilty of pulling pranks stole something important. It upset the village he lives in, and a townsman said to this to their elder. I understand it to mean, "This time we can't just chalk this up to a prank." I don't grammatically understand why that particle was used, although I understand the meaning behind the sentence. Oct 23, 2020 at 18:10

2 Answers 2

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済む is a set phrase that means "to get away with ~".

これで済んだと思うなよ。
You won't get away with this.

ここから落ちたら怪我では済まない。
If you fall from here, you can't just get hurt and survive.

いたずらで済ませる means "to get away calling it a prank", "to forget thinking of it as a prank", etc. は is used because it's a negative sentence (see: Why is the topic marker often used in negative statements (ではない, ~とは思わない)?).

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My student just asked me 2 grammars. "~で済む" and "~ないで済む" can be translated as "get by doing something/done by something"

今度ばかりはいたずらでは済まされません。
=> It can not be done by a joke.

では was used but not で because は is used to show the meaning which is similar to ほど. 強調という役割で使われています。

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  • @Chocolate: I had a typo. Thank you for correcting. Oct 26, 2020 at 1:22

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