352 - おかげで
The fact that おかげで is N3 grammar is a travesty.
Because it's a really awesome way to thank someone for their help. And saying thank you eloquently makes you look cool in any language.
thanks to; owing to; because of
Let's start with a slight variation of this grammar point---a common, polite way to tell your teacher that they are to thank for all kinds of great stuff:
thanks to you
とうきょう だいがく に ごうかく した そうですね。 おめでとう。
I heard that you got accepted to Tokyo University. Congratulations.
Literally: "Tokyo University + に + passing (an exam) + did + heard that (=そうです). + congratulations."
Note: A more literal translation would be, "I heard that you passed the entrance exam for Tokyo University"... since that is how university admissions are handled in Japan--with entrance examinations.
おかげさまで。 ありがとう ございます。
I couldn't have done it without you. Thank you.
Literally: "thank to you. + thank you."
Now, I know you must be getting really excited, because Person B just dropped a sentence that is extremely easy to duplicate and is highly useful.
Bro, you're, like, really good at Japanese.
But what if we want to "thank" someone or something other than "you?"
Well, then we would need to do this thing I read about in a book: Grammars.
ひふか で もらった ぬりぐすり の おかげで、 にきび が なくなりました。
My acne went away thanks to the ointment I got at the dermatologist.
Literally: "dermatology + で + received + ointment + の + thanks to, + pimples / acne + が + went away."
Thanks to A, B.
= A おかげで, B.
Since the word directly before おかげで was a noun, we put a の between them:
thanks to ointment
Let's all take a moment to appreciate that the word for "ointment" is:
Well, another literal translation might be something like "plaster-medicine" or "smear-medicine." Personally, though, I'm on team "paint-medicine."
Speaking of which, when I googled "paint medicine" (for, you know, research purposes), this majestic beast popped up on my laptop screen:
And I learned a new term: "medicine hat horse."
Could today get any better?
Sorry, what was I talking about?
Oh yeah, ointment!
Err, I mean, grammar...
はは が せなか を おして くれた おかげ で、 きぎょう する けっしん が つきました。
It was thanks to a supportive push from my mom that I got the resolve to start my own business.
Literally: "mother + が + back + を + push (and) + gave (me) + thanks to, + starting a business + do + determination / resolution + が + stuck."
This time we had a past tense plain form verb right before おかげで.
Since おかげで gets real personal with plain-form verbs, we can put them right next to each other:
thanks to being pushed
What if you're not 100% sure that A is to thank for B?
To express our doubt, we can swap out で with か：
タバコ を やめた おかげか、 さいきん ごはん が おいしく かんじる ように なった。
Lately food has been tasting better, maybe thanks to the fact that I quit smoking.
Literally: "tobacco + を + quit + thanks to? + lately + food + が + tastily + feel + ように + became."
We also don't use で when おかげ is at the very end of our sentence.
In that case, で (which tends to only come at the end of sentences that are requests/commands) becomes です：
わたし が ぶじ に そつぎょう できた の は、 ねっしん に べんきょう を てつだって くれた ゆうじん たち の おかげ です。
I was able to graduate without problems thanks to my friends, who enthusiastically helped me with my studies.
Literally: "I + が + safely / without problems + graduation + was able to do + のは, + enthusiastically + studies + を + help (and) + gave (me) + close friends + の + thanks to."
That's all for this one.
I would tell you to go study, but I have a feeling you're faced with more pressing matters at the moment--like googling different breeds of horses.
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