511 - ので


JLPT N4: ので (so)

ので, which we can usually translate as "so," is used to connect two clauses.

In most cases, it shows up like this:

[cause or reason] ので、[result]

わたし は フロリダ で そだった ので、 ハリケーン に は なれています。
I grew up in Florida, so I’m used to hurricanes.
Literally: “I + は + Florida + で + grew up + ので, + hurricane + には + am being used to.”

[cause or reason] ので、[result]
→ I grew up in Florida ので、I'm used to hurricanes.
→ → I grew up in Florida, so I'm used to hurricanes.

Now, you're probably wondering, How is this different than から, "because," which is also used to connect two clauses when giving a cause or reason for some result?

ので, when giving excuses, is softer and more formal than から.

Also, a command can come after から but rarely comes after ので:

× 危ないので、やめなさい。
× あぶない ので、 やめなさい。
× That’s [It’s] dangerous, so stop.
× Literally: “dangerous + ので, + stop.”

○ 危ないから、やめなさい。
○ あぶない から、 やめなさい。
○ That’s [It’s] dangerous, so stop.
Literally: “dangerous + から (=because) + stop.”

やめなさい is the softer, more polite command form (compared to alternatives) of the verb やめる, "to quit; to stop." (Bonus: The strong, impolite command form would be やめろ, which you're sure to hear in one of those anime where people are killing each other.)

Since やめなさい is a command, it rarely follows ので, but it can follow から.

👷 Construction 👷

The word coming directly before ので will be in the plain form.

For example, in this lesson we have:

... was... so...

そだった ので...
... grew up... so...

Putting words into plain form should be starting to feel like the natural thing to do by the time you get to N4 level.

The part that's easy to mess up is that we need to insert a な between na-adjetives or nouns and ので, like this:

すき なので...
... like... so...

アレルギー なので...
... allergy... so...

You'll find that we do something very similar with のに becoming なのに in a future N4 lesson.

Anyway, you should get highly accustomed to this なので. You will be using it all the time.

わたし は おどる の が すき なので よく クラブ に いきます。
I like dancing, so I go to clubs often.
Literally: “I + は + dance + の + が + liked + なので + often + club + に + go.”

きのう は けっこん きねんび だった ので、 ふうふ で おしゃれな レストラン に いきました。
Yesterday was our wedding anniversary, so my wife and I [my husband and I] went to a nice restaurant.
Literally: “yesterday + は + marriage + anniversary + was + ので, + married couple + で + fancy / stylish + restaurant + に + went.”

わたし は じゅうど の ねこ アレルギー なので、 ねこ が きらい です。
I have a severe cat allergy, so I hate cats.
Literally: “I + は + severe + の + cat + allergy + なので, + cat + が + disliked / hated + です.”

おかあさん は せ が たかい ので、 ひとごみ の なか でも めだちます。
My mom is tall, so she stands out in a crowd.
Literally: “mom + は + tall (person) (=hight + が + tall) + ので, + crowd of people + の + inside + でも + stands out / is conspicuous.”

Those examples above weren't too bad to get through, were they?

They all adhered to the "[cause] ので, [result]" formula nicely, and the conjugations were relatively straightforward.

(If you are feeling overwhelmed by the sentences above, it might help to go through the literal breakdowns a few times.)

For our last example, things are not quite so simple...

かくにん して まいります ので、 おかけになって おまち ください。
I’ll go check, so please have a seat and wait a moment.
Literally: “confirmation / checking + do (and) + come + ので, + be seated (and) + please wait.”

This sentence is tricky.

First, we have まいります, which is the humble form of 来る (くる // to come) (and can also be the humble form of 行く [いく // to go]), and it's not in the plain form! As you can see, the rules don't always apply when we're being extra formal.

おかけになって(ください)is a polite way to say 座ってください (すわってください // Please sit down). I'd use this anytime you're asking a person to sit down, since the verb 座る (すわる) is what you would use when telling a dog to sit down.

Also, note that お待ちください is more polite than just saying 待ってください (まってください // please wait), which we already studied in this lesson: [NDL #456] - JLPT N4: お~ください.

Like most of our N4 grammar, this language is vital to everyday fluency. So let's master it!

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