0

I have come across this kind of sentence a lot but cannot figure out why the Japanese construct their sentences like this.

こうして、国境の両側で二つの町ができたのである。

As I understand, the subject here is 二つの町 and the verb is できた, のである is for emphasizing author's opinion. But isn't it weird that the sentence has a subject and verb already, but with the end in のである、it makes me confused that now, what is the subject of the sentence?

5
  • 1
    I don't see the confusion here. Indeed, 二つの町 is the subject of できる, but I don't see how that would conflict at all with explanatory の.
    – jogloran
    Jan 7 at 6:38
  • 1
    Are you familiar with other forms of the same type of structure, like んだ, のです, etc.? It's quite common for verbs to come before that part.
    – Leebo
    Jan 7 at 6:50
  • 2
    The literal translation is "Through this, It is that two cities build on opposite sides of a border." You can consider "it" as a subject for である.
    – Jimmy Yang
    Jan 7 at 6:59
  • @jogloran thank you for pointing that out, I forgot about that structure. But it's still quite confusing for me. For example in English, we say: I read the book. But in Japanese, it is: ほんをよんだのである。 so it becomes: I read the bookのである. This makes me confuse Jan 7 at 9:44
  • It feels like you're overthinking it. The simple "I read the book" in English is just 本を読んだ, not 本を読んだのである.
    – Leebo
    Jan 7 at 13:10
2

This is called である体 or だ・である調 (with だ), and is often used in writing. Essentially, である = だ's 連用形 + ある and functions a copula. I assume you'd be fine with the sentence coming in either of these two forms?

こうして、国境の両側で二つの町ができたの

こうして、国境の両側で二つの町ができたのです

Per 精選版 日本国語大辞典

口語文体の一つ。文末の指定表現に「である」を用いる文体。敬体の「です・ます体」などに対し、常体と呼ばれ、主として論説・小説など書きことばに用いられる。である調。

だ・である調 is often used as an alternative to です・ます調 and is often invoked in academic papers, opinion articles, and novels.

For the choice between だ and である when writing in だ・である調, see this answer:

If writing in である form, when is it necessary to use だ?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.