Based on what I understand, formal nouns like はず take up a subordinate clause, therefore taking が to mark the subject, but when I see examples such as




It makes it look like my understanding is wrong.

When I tried to contemplate why, I just imagine that あの人 and あの本 aren't a part of the subordinate clause, but it is more of saying "that person/book is ~ はずだ".

If that may be the case can this also be applied to other formal nouns such as わけ?

1 Answer 1


Technically, 高い and 高かった are the short subordinate clauses that modify はず. Japanese relative clauses can be very short. As you said, the word marked with は is working as a topic of the entire sentence.

あの人が若いはず lacks a topic, and this doesn't even look like a valid sentence to me. It's just a fragment roughly meaning "probable-ness of that person being young". Still, you can make the subordinate clause have a different subject using が:

He thinks that person should not be young.

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