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  5. "きのういえのそうじをしたんです。"


Translation:I cleaned up my house yesterday.

June 17, 2017



I think the translation should include "(It's that) I cleaned the house yesterday" due to the ん.


I don't quite understand the ん. Is it like suggesting a reason for something?


Something like that. ~んです is a hard one to explain (not least because I only learned about it conversationally), but generally speaking, I think it's a way for adding emphasis. What is being emphasized is entirely dependent on context though... For example, in this question:

  • as an opening to a converstion, it reads kind of like "guess what, I cleaned the house yesterday, how interesting isn't that ;)"
  • as a response to an interrogative question like "where were you yesterday", "well, actually I had to clean the house"
  • as a response to a general question like "what did you do on the weekend", "I simply cleaned the house yesterday (as opposed to doing anything else)"

I'm sure there are other examples/possible translations that I'm not thinking of, and people will probably disagree with the exact wording of my translations, but the point is adding ~んです can change the nuance of the sentence in different ways.

At OP: as an English native speaker (Australian), simply adding "it's that" feels very stiff and unnatural in almost all cases, and it's not a good way of translating ~んです. I think it's a good way to remind yourself that ~んです is different from just です, but you should probably give it a bit more thought after that.


Perhaps: "The thing is, I cleaned the house yesterday."

~ んです is a contraction of ~ のです which is basically turning the sentence before it into a noun and then stating the situation described by that noun is the case.


Agree but based on other comments, there is a purpose from the speakers to have the listener to dig deeper into the a statement


んです is a contraction of のです which some scholars consider the contraction of 事です all used to provide a justification or reason


It's sort of like saying "You see..."


For my own purposes I translate this to "That's because..." (close to your take on that).

The reason for saying phrases like this one is that during a conversation between A and B this is what may happen:

A: なぜここはそんなきれいな家なの?
B: きのう家の掃除をしたんです。


Yeah, that's how I've been remembering it too.



I think the "The 「の」 particle as explanation" part of the link might provide to be helpful to you. I hope it will.


昨日 (yesterday) 家 (house) の掃除 (clean) をしたんです


Is clean a noun here? Is that why it needs the wo?


Yes, 掃除 (そうじ) is a noun, meaning "cleaning", which is why it needs を.

There are plenty of these "noun-verbs" in Japanese, and while I believe the を is grammatically necessary, it's common practice to omit it, e.g. 掃除した.


I think an easy way to explain the んです/のです is that it's used to explain things or give reasons. This example meaning for example, would never be used alone or as a conversation starter. It's answering a question, giving an explanation.

Why are you so tired today? 昨日、家の掃除をしたんです (Well, because I cleaned my house yesterday)

Why are you late? 電車に乗り遅れたんです (You see, I missed the train)

You can add it to adjectives too:

Why aren't you eating? 寿司が嫌いなんです (Because I don't like sushi)


Yesterday I did not clean the house. Nor today. Because I want to finish this tree!


Wouldn't a more literal (and still natural) translation be: "I did the house cleaning yesterday"?


It's not accepting "yesterday I did the housework" but I'm sure いえのそうじ was translated as housework in another lesson?


Why does Duo require "my" here?


Yesterday I cleaned my house. Marked wrong!! What the heck!?


What's the difference between いえ and うち?


I think someone said in an earlier exercise that they were House and Home respectively.


When did "いえのそうじ" become "cleaned up my house" instead of "did the housework"?


context ? it is hard to learn a language like this (and vice versa) because some words and phrases cannot be directly translated or no perfect equal. I think thats why some japanese speaks funny English imo.(No hate, i find it cute actually).


"yesterday I cleaned house", is somehow marked wrong.


"To clean house" has a different meaning in English from the Japanese verb: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=clean%20house


Urban Dictionary is not a reliable source for regular English. It covers a variant of English, slang English.


maybe that's why Joshua gave this source in the first place: you would need an article in regular English, otherwise it would become an urban expression.


What is したん? Is it a contraction of しました?


Actually, the contraction is んです which comes from のです. Please read some of the other comments (e.g. the top comment thread on this page) for a more detailed explanation.


Should "Because I cleaned the house yesterday" be acceptable?

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