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The Explanatory "んです"

You may have heard this quite a lot and wondered what it's all about! It is most often used, informally, when:

1) To explain something
2) To show emphasis

んです is short for のです; Informal usage;

plain form verb + んです

nani o shite iru n desu ka .
Whatcha doing?

terebi o mite iru n desu.
Watching TV.

-i Adjective + んです

kono eiga wa omoshiroi n desu.
This movie was great!

And it can be used as a way to stress a point

pa-ti ni ikanai deshou
You won't be able to make it to the party, right?

iie, boku wa iku n desu.
No, I'm going!

ittai, doushita n desu ka.
Just what exactly happened (to you)!!!?

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Please, what would be the difference between saying 「何をしていますか」 and 「何をしているんですか」?

i-adjective example

"this movie was great"

shouldn't this be


or does it sound weird if you are explicitly using past tense in this case?

modern_trauma's picture


ittai, doushita n desu ka.

か isn't 'romanized'..

Thanks for this!

phreadom's picture

Thank you. I fixed the typo.

Thank you. I fixed the typo. :) I should probably clean up the code some more when I get a chance. Thanks for the heads up!


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