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


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?

  • 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, 2022 at 6:38
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    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, 2022 at 6:50
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    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, 2022 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, 2022 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, 2022 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


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?



Per 精選版 日本国語大辞典


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?

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