In an answer on another question, @TsuyoshiIto wrote:

[U]nlike commas in English, 読点 in Japanese is rarely (if ever) grammatically required. Authors are free to use 読点 wherever they feel that it makes sense to make a pause when pronounced.

And in a comment on yet another question, @dainichi wrote:

I think [こわいだから] might exist in some dialects, but in standard Japanese, it is ungrammatical regardless of formality. Unless it's こわい、だから[...] which is something else. (emphasis added)

What is this "something else?" According to answers on two other questions (this one and this one), だから is simply だ + から. Therefore, I would expect *こわいだから to be ungrammatical because *こわいだ is ungrammatical. In fact, I would expect だから to only follow things that can follow.

However, I'm having trouble reconciling what @dainichi and @TsuyoshiIto wrote. If *こわいだから is ungrammatical, and 読点 aren't required, how can こわい、だから be grammatical?

Perhaps my confusion stems from the difference between these forms:

  1. *こわいだから。
  2. こわい、だから[・・・]
  3. こわい。だから[・・・]

Can だから be explained as だ + から in all three cases? If so, does that mean can begin a sentence or clause, or is だから somehow special? What is the "something else" referred to by @dainichi?

In short: how can I make sense of this?

  • I should probably have written こわい。だから[...] in my comment instead. Seems like the comma just added to the confusion.
    – dainichi
    Dec 13, 2012 at 9:36
  • It is simple: my original assertion was too general to be true! I edited my answer. Thanks for pointing this out. Dec 13, 2012 at 13:13

1 Answer 1


I regret not writing "こわい。だから[...]" with a 句点 in my original comment.

The precise way to express it would have been: if こわい and だから are parts of separate clauses, it can be grammatical, otherwise not.

In speech, you would usually express こわい and だから belonging to different clauses by inserting a pause. With no pause between them (i.e. without breaking the mora rythm), it sounds wrong.

In written language, what is "correct" is mostly a matter of style and conventions. Maybe I originally kind of "broke the rules" by making it a 読点 instead of a 句点, but I would argue that it's not uncommon to join multiple main clauses with 読点 instead of 句点 if they're closely related. But I think most readers would find こわいだから without a 句点, a 読点 or a space very hard to parse, and would assume you had made a grammatical error.

Maybe one rule of thumb could be: If originally it could have been a 句点, at least have a 読点 or some other kind of space (the latter might be more common in poetry).

Your Answer

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