Sunday, November 3, 2019

し Particle

In Japanese, the shi し particle is a conjunctive particle used to express the reason, or reasons, for something. More generally, it's used to emphasize facts regarding something.

For example: in douse hima da shi どうせ暇だし, the shi particle expresses that douse hima da, "I'm free," in the sense of "I don't have anything better to do anyway," is the reason for doing something.

Not to be confused with the homonyms: shi し, the ren'youkei 連用形 form of suru する, shi 死, "death," or shi 四, the number "four."

いや・・・ 別にいいよ 知りたくないし・・・
Manga: Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san からかい上手の高木さん (Chapter 2, プール)


The shi し particle comes after the predicative form of words and acts as a conjunction.

The basic usage would be to say the reason or an argument supporting a statement or a decision, BEFORE saying that statement. For example:

  • watashi wa hima da shi, tetsudatte ageru yo
    I am free, so [I] will help you.
    Since I'm free, [I] will help you.
    • hima
      Free. In the sense of not busy.
      Having nothing to do.

Sometimes, however, in Japanese a conjunctive clause can come after its matrix. This works pretty much like dislocation. Observe:

  • tetsudatte kureru?
    Will [you] help [me]?
  • ii yo, douse hima da shi
    Fine, since I've got nothing to do anyway.
いや・・・ 別にいいよ 知りたくないし・・・
Manga: Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san からかい上手の高木さん (Chapter 2, プール)
  • Context: Nishikata 西片 is asked whether he wants to know the answer of something.
  • iya...
    [No... I mean...]
  • betsu ni ii yo
    [It's fine.]
  • shiritakunai shi...
    [I] don't want to know...

The shi し particle can also string multiple subordinate clauses together.

Sometimes, this means that the two things, the two reasons, are opposing things: one thing that should happen, one thing that impedes it from happening, and the effect of this impediment.

For example(大辞林 第三版):

  • okane wa aru shi, jikan wa aru shi, eiga demo miyou
    Money, [we] have, time, [we] have, let's go watch a movie, or something.
    • demo でも
      Or something.
  • asobi ni wa ikitai shi, hima wa nai shi, omoshirokunai
    To play, [I] want to go, free, [I] am not, it's not fun.
    I want to go play, but I don't have time, that's not fun.

Although most of the time shi し expresses a reason, it's also possible for shi し to be used to list, and emphasize, facts regarding something.

古見さんと言えば、 美人だし、頭もいいし、人気者だし、 でもそれを笠に着ないし、 いつも堂々としてるし、 無口で、クールで、格好いいし、 ああっ、考えれば考えるほど素敵な人!
Manga: Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu. 古見さんは、コミュ症です。 (Chapter 14, あがり症です)
  • Context: a girl talks about Komi-san 古見さん.
  • Note: the panels with arrows aren't part of what she's saying, and have been censored.
  • Komi-san to ieba,
    Komi-san is,
    • to ieba と言えば
      If [you] were to say [A, you would say B.]
      Used to describe A by listing its prominent features.
  • bijin da shi,
    atama mo ii shi,
    ninkimono da shi,

    [She] is beautiful, [she] is also smart, [she] is popular,
  • demo sore wo
    kasa ni kinai shi,

    But [she] doesn't "wear that as a hat,"
    • Just like wearing a hat protects you from rain, the expression also means, in Japanese, to abuse one's authority to get away with doing whatever one wants.
    • In order words, she's saying that Komi-san doesn't abuse the fact that she's beautiful and popular for her own personal gain.
  • itsumo doudou to
    shiteru shi,

    [She] always [acting] dignified,
  • mukuchi de,
    kuuru de,
    kakkou ii shi

    [She] is quiet, cool, stylish.
  • aa'
  • kangaereba
    kangaeru hodo
    suteki na hito!

    The more [I] think of it, the more [she] is a fantastic person!
    • sureba suru hodo ____
      The more you do something, the more ____ it is.

The shi し particle allows the speaker to list facts or reasons to support their statements, but just because a sentence ends with shi し, that doesn't mean the speaker is actually correct in what they're talking about.

環先輩がハーフというのも聞いた事ありませんし・・・ 確かに髪とか茶色いけどたぶんプールの入りすぎで タマちゃんハーフだよーー? フランスと日本のハーフちゃん~~~~
Manga: Ouran High School Host Club, Ouran Koukou Hosuto-Bu 桜蘭高校ホスト部 (Chapter 10)
  • Context: someone said a bunch of stuff that Haruhi ハルヒ never heard about.
  • {Tamaki-senpai ga haafu to iu} no mo {kiita} koto arimasen shi...
    That {Tamaki-senpai is a "half,"} too, [I've] never {heard about}.
    [I've] never {heard about} {Tamaki-senpai being half-Japanese}, either.
  • tashika ni kami toka chairoi kedo tabun puuru no hairi-sugi de
    It's true [his] hair and [so on] is brown but [it's] probably because [he spent too long inside the pool].
    • Top signs a character doesn't have two Japanese parents:
      1. His hair is not black.
      2. His eyes aren't black, either.
    • puuru ni hairi-sugiru
      To enter the pool too much.
      To spend too long inside the pool.
    • de で particle - marks the cause of something.
  • Tama-chan φ haafu da yo----?
    Tama-chan is half-Japanese, [you didn't know]?
    • Tama-chan - Tamaki's nickname.
    • Honey-senpai uses ~chan with everything.
  • {Furansu to Nippon} no haafu-chan~~~~
    A {France and Japan's} "half"-chan.
    A person half-French and half-Japanese.
    • Since haafu ハーフ refers to a person, it can get a honorific suffix like ~chan ~ちゃん.

Above, Haruhi uses the shi し particle to say that she never heard about something, therefore it must be untrue. Subsequently, she's told by Honey-senpai that the thing was actually true: Tamaki-senpai IS half-Japanese, in spite of Haruhi not knowing about it.

Sometimes, the shi し particle comes after the negative mai まい jodoushi 助動詞. For example:

  • saru de wa aru-mai shi
    [It's] not like you're a monkey.
    • So get down from that tree.



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