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では vs は

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では vs は

Postby katafei » Sat 11.06.2010 6:04 am

I find it very difficult to understand the deeper meaning/implication of では....
Here are some sentences with my interpretation. Can someone tell me what meaning the では adds to the last sentence?


学生である限り、勉強を第一にしなけらばならない。
When you're a student, study should be your first priority.

>>> pretty neutral statement, so no specific particle needed....(?)

生きている限りは、楽しいこと、苦しいこと、いろいろなことがある。
In life, good things, bad things, lots of things will come on your path

>>> a bit more emphasis is given to 'in life', hence the particle は...(?)

私は知る限りでは、あの人に罪はないはずです。
As far as I know, that person has done nothing wrong.

>>> Could では be replaced by は? And if not, why not?
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Re: では vs は

Postby NileCat » Sat 11.06.2010 9:23 am

Let me begin with the easier one. :roll:

私は知る限りでは、あの人に罪はないはずです。
As far as I know, that person has done nothing wrong.

>>> Could では be replaced by は? And if not, why not?

To begin with, it should be “私知る限りでは”.
The answer is…maybe no. I mean, the nuance would be altered.
That’s because;
a) “私の知る限りでは” is an idiomatic expression.
b) The important nuance of this expression is to strictly limit the condition. “As far as I know” means “there might exist something I don’t know”, right? In order to specify the condition, では is preferable. I mean, “私の知る限り” would sound insufficient or..well, ‘illiterate’ (if you were a native speaker).
c) In this case, 限り means…”一定の範囲のうち”
See the definition [2] on the following link.
http://dic.yahoo.co.jp/dsearch?enc=UTF- ... ss&stype=0
In other words, 私の知る限り means 私の知っている一定の範囲の中. So, the following particle should be では, not は.

生きている限りは、楽しいこと、苦しいこと、いろいろなことがある。
In life, good things, bad things, lots of things will come on your path

In this case, the word 限り means [3] in the link; その内容を限定する. That sounds the same as [2] ? Yes, I know :neutral: . However, in this case, the intention of the speaker has nothing to do with the life after life. Your translation is absolutely correct. It is only mentioning “in life”.
Therefore, “生きている限りでは” sounds weird. Because that would sound as if the speaker want to mention something after your death.

学生である限り、勉強を第一にしなけらばならない。
When you're a student, study should be your first priority.

>>> pretty neutral statement, so no specific particle needed....(?)

Well, it should be しなけばならない.
You are right. In a way, you can take it as an abbreviation of 学生である限り.
But you can’t say 学生である限りでは. As I wrote, the intention of usingでは is to imply something out of the limitation of the condition.


BUT, the following sentence is possible.
私の知る限り、あの人に罪はないはずです。
This usage is considered to be an abbreviation of 限りでは. OR, 知る限りでは can be considered to be an emphasized version of 知る限り.
AND, as you might presume so, 生きている限り、いろいろなことがある sounds fine.


限り・・・basic form
限りは・・・emphasizes the nuance of limitation
限りでは・・・limits the confines; AND states “to rule out something out of the confines

Hmm...it was tough...
Please note that I don't mean to say I'm 100% correct. :ninja: :ninja: :ninja:
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Re: では vs は

Postby yangmuye » Thu 11.11.2010 6:10 am

Hello NileCat
Can I say
私の知る限りに於いては
私の知る限りに就いては
instead of
私の知る限りでは

And how about
私の知る限りには
Is it the same as 私の知る限りでは?
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Re: では vs は

Postby NileCat » Thu 11.11.2010 6:39 am

私の知る限りに於いては is fine.
The difference in nuance between 限りでは and 限りに於いては is very subtle in this phrase. You could assume that 限りに於いては sounds more literarysm-ish.

私の知る限りに就いては sounds off to me. For 就いては is a conjunction, strictly speaking.

私の知る限りには also sounds off to me. However, depending on the context, it might sound ok. e.g. そういったことは、私の知る限りにはありません。But I for one don’t recommend this usage.
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Re: では vs は

Postby yangmuye » Thu 11.11.2010 9:14 am

NileCat san, Thank you for your reply. どうもありがとう

For 就いては is a conjunction, strictly speaking.

What I mean is について + は, not the 就いては
Since I can find some results googleing "知る限りについて".

私の知る限りには also sounds off to me. However, depending on the context, it might sound ok. e.g. そういったことは、私の知る限りにはありません。But I for one don’t recommend this usage.

I see. But why don't you recommend this? Does it sound rude?


And for the first two sentences,
学生である限り、勉強を第一にしなけらばならない。
生きている限りは、楽しいこと、苦しいこと、いろいろなことがある。
Can I put the に or において or について after 限り? (I suppose you can't).

よろしくお願いします
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Re: では vs は

Postby NileCat » Thu 11.11.2010 10:40 am

But why don't you recommend this? Does it sound rude?

No. That’s because it sounds…what do you call it in English?..periphrastic? circumlocutory?
In language, you know, “being unnatural” doesn’t mean anything. Something that sounds natural to someone might sound unnatural to the others. In a way, if you want to use some phrase that nobody uses, you could use it as long as it is grammatically correct.
In that sense, I didn’t recommend to use it.

私の知る限りについては will convey a totally different meaning in sentences like this; 私の知る限りについてはお話ししましょう.
I mean, it is not interchangeable with 知る限りでは.
“私の知る限りについては、あの人に罪はないはずです” sounds off.

And for the first two sentences,
学生である限り、勉強を第一にしなけらばならない。
生きている限りは、楽しいこと、苦しいこと、いろいろなことがある。
Can I put the に or において or について after 限り? (I suppose you can't).

As I said, you can’t put について here.
学生である限りにおいては~ and 生きている限りにおいては~ are both possible. They are grammatically correct and logical. But please note that they both would sound very...ah…pedantic in many cases. In other words, this expression would sound "natural" in academic thesises or something like that.

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