第76課: The Particle し
This particle is especially important for daily conversation. So, make sure you understand it before leaving this lesson!
Curriculum Note: The し seen in phrases such as 過ぎ去りし日 is not the particle し. Rather, it is the attribute form of a classical ending for past event. Thus, it will not be discussed in this lesson.
し is used to emphatically list similar situations and is after the 終止形 of a verb or adjective.
|Verbs||吸うし||Adjectives||高いし||Adjectival Nouns||簡単だし||Nouns +だ||バカだし|
It’s often used in descriptions from a certain viewpoint that links certain aspects of a particular subject. It can list good things and bad things and also show contrast.
I don’t have money or a car.
She has a beautiful face, she’s tall, and she has a good personality…
My boyfriend smokes and drinks.
I want to watch that movie, but I don’t have the money…what am I going to do…
Politeness Note: し may follow ～ます, but it is required in the final verb of a polite statement. Other verbs in the sentence may optionally have ～ます as well.
し is most frequently seen in sentences like Ex. 1 and 2 showing parallel situations (並列). Note that the particle も shows up in this situation instead of が (Ex. 1 and 2) or を (Ex. 3).
Sentences of contrast (対比) is very similar to listing bad situations as they are both bad in the sense that they contradict with each other and that’s causing the speaker grief. Here, we see that the particle after the nouns is は. After all, it has the function for showing contrast. Contrast does not require the phrases be in the negative.
My teeth hurt, but I don’t want to go to the doctor, I’m in a rut!
The typhoon’s coming, but I got my job. And so, I’m really at a loss.
Usually, the use of し regardless of how it is used leads to showing some sort of reason. So, you often see ～し～（し）で and ～し～から. A difference between this し and から is that even when there is one thing stated, more parallel (or contrasting) things are implied with し. This is not so with から! Thus, they can occur with each other.
We have the money, so why don’t we buy a Prius?
Today is Sunday, and the weather is fine. So, let’s go out for a walk.
Losing his job, splitting up with his wife, he is really depressed.
10. どうせ暇ですし（本当にやりたい、等） ≈ どうせ暇ですから。
At any rate, I’m free. So…
If, however, you are showing any sort of comparison or contrast that comes about as a consequence of X, then you are stating things in terms of a ～ば conditional. The only difference between ～ば and ～し in this case, aside from obvious conjugation differences (～ば goes after the いぜん形）, the former is a conditional. And so, “if X is such, then Y must also be such”. The such can be a comparison or a contrast, and this relation always implies reason.
If one has no money, then one has no free time.
If you are smart, you can also do sports.
If there are smart people, there are also dumb people.
Grammar Note: The deletion of 頭の is more natural, but the addition of it would be the sentence more parallel.
No matter if you walk and walk, if there are no greens, there is no prey.
If there are clear days, and if there are rainy days, there are also cloudy days.
Grammar Note: Having two conditional phrases with the same Y final phrase is OK!
If there are days in which the wind blows with the rainfall, then there are also days that are hot.
Grammar Note: Notice how this pattern is compounded.
The other day was one of those days when if the wind blows it rains, so it was really awful.
Grammar Note: Sometimes, you may see entire phrases treated as a set phrase like this.
Another thing to note is how the particle し appears as a final particle. This is very colloquial, and although the particle overall is 話し言葉的, this particular usage would not be appropriate for 書き言葉. Also, in really くだけた speech, we even see ～しね. This is often used when there is but one thing mentioned and し is almost like a filler word to be less direct.
And today, the weather’s bad.
If it’s cold, you’ll get a cold.
You’ll get a cold and a fever, you know.
“When will you return home to America?” “At this point, I don’t plan to return. Even if I went home, the economy is bad and such”
I want to buy new clothes, but I have no money, a student’s finances are depressing.
His body is large, and he is very strong.
Mr. Tanaka said so, and Mr. Suzuki said so too.
It’s very windy, it’s started to snow, so I’m going to quit on going out today.
Since I’m sick and busy, I won’t go out, OK?
He’s still young, so he has as many times as he wants to redo things.
It’s terrible that we’re too far from the train station and that there aren’t any buses.
Hatanaka Sensei is earnest, diligent, and has a lot of experience.
This store is very inconvenient since it’s far from the train station and you can’t even get to it by car.
Grammar/Curriculum Note: ～られない makes the negative potential form for 一段 verbs and 来る.
2. ～｛では・でも｝あるまいし expresses a light sense of contempt meaning “it’s not as if…”. If the two parts are parallel, then this pattern stresses reason. If the two parts are contrasting, then the phrase means ～ないのに.
This usage is one of the only usages in which the auxiliary ～まい is still even used. Its meaning is just like ～ないだろう. Even though it is usually old-fashioned, it is even found in colloquial conversations in this expression. However, if the first clause is lengthy, there is no particle deletion before ～まい. Though you may see it in conversation, its use is still following down even in this usage, and so あるまい is usually replaced by ない.
It’s not as if it’s even winter, and since you’re wearing a thick shirt, aren’t you hot?
32. 彼は、選手になれるわけじゃ｛ない・あるまい｝し、 悪くはない。
Although it’s not like he can become an athlete, he’s not that bad.
33. 他人じゃ｛ない・あるまい｝し、水臭いじゃん？ （砕けた言い方）
It’s not as if he’s a stranger, so isn’t he stand-offish?
Contraction Note: Remember that じゃ is the contraction of では.