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

1 Answer 1

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?

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .