第153課: ～ために II: Due to…
～ために, as hinted at in the introduction of the previous lesson, is not limited to expressing an objective. Another primary interpretation that may or may not coincide with an objective is expressing a cause. This lesson will help you understand exactly how to use and understand this “cause-marking” ～ために and how it contrasts and coincides with the “objective-marking” ～ために．
Marking a Cause
The cause-marking ～ために is used to express the cause of something in a reserved manner. It is equivalent to the English phrase “due to.” It can be seen after nouns, adjectival nouns, adjectives, and verbs. For conjugatable parts of speech, it can be seen after both the non-past and past tenses.
|Part of Speech||Non-Past Tense||Past Tense|
|Nouns||N + の + ため（に）||N + だった + ため（に）|
|Adjectival Nouns||Adj. N + な + ため（に）||Adj. N + だった + ため（に）|
|Adjectives||Adj. + ため（に）||Adj. + かった + ため（に）|
|Verbs||V + ため（に）||V + た + ため（に）|
The cause-marking ～ために is only used in declarative sentences and the questions made from said sentences. The basic sentence pattern with the cause-marking ために is “A + ために + B.” The A expresses cause if B is the result of A having occurred. Generally speaking, when the agent of A and B are the same, then ～ために expresses an objective, but when the agent of A and B differ, it expresses cause. This rule of thumb only works, though, with the non-past tense. When you see ～ため（に） after the past tense or the progressive form (～ている), or whenever both clauses lack a true active agent, then it is always the cause-marking interpretation.
Particle Note: The に in ～ために is frequently omitted, and when the statement is a positive one, it’s most natural to omit it. When に isn’t present, the statement is as neutral as can be. When に is present, the cause stands out more, but there is no emphasis as to whether the cause is good or bad.
Usage Note: This pattern is almost entirely used in the written language and/or in news(-like speech).
(Road) currently closed due to construction.
Due to the fact that not even the candidate who won the most votes reached the necessary count to be elected, a repeat election is to be held.
3. 彼女は容姿端麗｛な・だった｝ため｛に X・ø 〇｝、数々の男子学生の憧れの的だった。
She was the object of adoration of numerous male students due to her attractive face and figure.
She is fed up with having numerous male students confess their love for her due to her attractive face and figure.
Because of this, Fuji Television has decided to call off further broadcast (of the program).
Perhaps due to having entered the company at a time when performance was declining, turnover was relentless with repeated structure changes.
Grammar Note: ～ためか is equivalent to “perhaps due to.”
My father is working a part-time job and saving money because my older sister is marrying.
Sentence Note: It may also be the case that the father is saving the money so that his daughter may marry, but this would be something one must confirm whether this is true with the father.
My older sister is working a part-time job saving money in order to marry.
Sentence Note: Because the agent is the same in all clauses of the sentence, ために is interpreted here as “in order to.” The same can be said for Ex. 9.
Scientist have also set out to experimenting (in order) to probe the mystery.
The weather has become cloudy due to an autumnal rain front approaching.
Returned to campus by foot with other friends due to ultimately missing the final bus.
Sentence Note: This sentence is representative of blog-style writing.
Changing devices because you want to show off to people around or because you want to play a game… there’s no way that your parents could dish out tens of thousands of yen for those sort of reasons, no?
As I was fast asleep last night, I did not feel the earthquake.
Cannot access server due to insufficient information.
Due to dense fog, every single car is running with its headlights on.
Due to dense fog, landing will be postponed until there are instructions from the control tower.
Customers have diminished since service was bad.
～ます + ～ため（に）
There are also instances in which you will find the cause-marking ～ため（に） after polite endings such as ～ます, ～ました, and ～ません in attempt to be more formal. This is also almost entirely used in the written language. Some speakers frown on this practice, preferring the plain speech forms; however, it is nonetheless important to know that both ～ますため and ～ませんため are used a lot.
Particle Note: The particle に is seldom seen after ため in this situation.
Because I have yet to fully recover at this time, I plan on continuing my treatment through outpatient visits going forward.
We do not accept returns and/or trades, so please take this into your consideration.
Drink fees are not included, and so you will pay on site.
As password re-registration is required, we ask for your understanding and cooperation. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you.
Also, because we are inspecting as to whether they are no TOS violations before publication, please understand that it will take some time.
I’m contacting because of there being something to confirm in the content we received from you earlier.
Spelling Note: Although ため hasn’t been spelled as 為 elsewhere in this lesson, Ex. 23 particularly exemplifies the style of writing seen in business communications where other phrases that would otherwise not be written in 漢字 are to give off an overall formal feel.
Ambiguity Between Objective/Cause-Marking ～ため（に）
There are some situations in which the agent of A and B are the same. Sometimes this causes ambiguity as to whether ～ために expresses an objective or a cause.
①: When A is a noun, if the noun is one that describes an unrealized thing such as 成功 (success)・健康 (health)・幸福 (happiness), then it expresses an objective.
Get plenty of rest daily for your daily healthy as well.
②: If the noun expresses something that has happened/is happening such as 事故 (accident)・失敗 (failure)・あられ (hail), then it expresses cause.
The train has been delayed due to an accident.
We will postpone the game due to the rain.
We’ve now stopped to wait for a traffic light. We apologize for this inconvenience as you’re in a hurry.
Sentence Note: Although the use of “to” as the English translation may suggest that Ex. 27 demonstrates an objective, it is not the case that the vehicle stopped purposely to wait for a light. Although such a scenario is theoretically possible, it is also the case in English that “to” refers to cause. Changing the translation from “to” to “in order to,” for this reason, would be wrong.
③: For nouns—or even verbal expressions—in the middle that are neither positive nor negative things, only context can tell which interpretation is meant. Both interpretations can also be meant, which is also true for the English equivalent “for” and “to.”
I took a day off last week to get re-examined/for a re-examination.
I revved up and cleaned to welcome my mother.
And it’s not clear if it happened so because of/for profit.
Our whole family went and came back from going on a three-night trip for my mother turning sixty on her birthday this year in October.