717 - 次第だ(しだいだ)

JLPT N2: 次第だ(しだいだ

次第 (しだい), as we saw in [NDL #626] - JLPT N2: 次第で (しだいで), is a word that can have a variety of meanings.

In that previous lesson, we saw it being used to say "depending on" or "based on," as in the following sentence:


朝食を食べるかどうかは、その日の気分次第です
ちょうしょく を たべる かどうか は、 その ひ の きぶん しだい です。
I decide whether or not to eat breakfast depending on how I feel that day.
Literally: “breakfast + を + eat + whether or not (=かどうか) + は, + that + day + の + feeling / mood + depending on + です.”

In this lesson, however, we're looking at how 次第 (しだい) can be used when explaining the reason or circumstances that led to a result.

An example:


妹が事故にあったと聞いて、あわてて飛んで来た次第だ
いもうと が じこ に あった と きいて、 あわてて とんで きた しだい だ。
I heard that my my sister had gotten into an accident, so I came here right away.
Literally: “younger sister + が + accident + に + met + と + hear (and), + become flustered / panic (and) + fly (and) + came + 次第 + だ.”
Note: The speaker is probably at a hospital or something.

You'll find that this usage of 次第だ is common at the end of compound sentences saying "A, so B." That is, it comes at the end of sentences in which a reason is given for doing something.

I myself am in danger of mixing up these two uses, so a side-by-side comparison might help a bit...


次第で VS 次第だ

💀 The labels for these is misleading, as the grammar point labeled 「次第で」can also appear at the end of a sentence, in which case it could indeed be 次第だ、次第です、etc. Conversely, aside from appearing as 次第だ、次第です、or even 次第でございます (super-polite language),「次第だ」is also written as 次第で when it is in the middle of a sentence (i.e. not at the end of a sentence).

💀 「次第で」is always preceded by a NOUN, whereas 「次第だ」can be preceded by just about anything in plain form.

💀 「次第で」is used when discussing undecided factors. That is, it is used in hypothetical statements regarding what may be done "depending on" a certain situation. Conversely, 「次第だ」is used when talking about what has beendone or will be done. The situation is not hypothetical. It is actually resulting in the action coming right before 次第だ.

💀 Both meanings were lumped together in my brain until I wrote this lesson, and I still passed the N2 and N1 tests, so maybe these distinctions aren't all that important.


Another example:


担当の者が出張中のため、私が代わりに参った次第でございます
たんとう の もの が しゅっちょう ちゅう の ため、 わたし が かわり に まいった しだい でございます。
The person usually in charge is away on business, so I came in her place.
Literally: “in charge + の + person + が + away on business + の + sake / purpose / reason, + I + が + in (her) place + に + came + 次第 + でございます.”


If you're keeping up with your studies of super-polite language, you'll see that this sentence is using でございます, which is a formal way of saying です, and 参る (まいる), which is humble language for saying "to go," "to come," "to visit," etc.

It makes sense that we're seeing language like this because 次第だ is a stiff, formal-sounding piece of grammar.


Here's an example in a dialogue:


A:
どうしてミゲルさんの送別会に来なかったのですか。
どうして ミゲルさん の そうべつかい に こなかった のです か。
Why didn’t you come to Miguel’s farewell party?
Literally: “why + Miguel-san + の + farewell party + に + didn’t come + のです + か?”


B:
来月リスボンに引っ越すので、またすぐに会えると思った次第です
らいげつ リスボン に ひっこす ので、 また すぐに あえる と おもった しだい です。
I’m moving to Lisbon next month, so I figured that I would be able to see him again soon, anyway.
Literally: “next month + Lisbon + に + move + ので (=because), + again + right away + can meet + と + thought + 次第 + です.”


Finally, we have an example where「次第だ」is written as 次第で because it is appearing in the middle of a sentence:


A:
お父様が亡くなられたそうですね。
おとうさま が なくなられた そうです ね。
I heard that your father passed away.
Literally: “father + が + passed away + そうです (=hearsay marker]) + ね.”
Note: 亡くなる (なくなる) has been put in the (past) passive tense to make it more polite.


B:
はい、そういう次第で、今日は伺えません。
はい、 そういう しだい で、 きょう は うかがえません。
Yes. For that reason, I won’t be able to visit you today.
Literally: “yes, + that kind of + 次第 + で, + today + は + cannot visit.”
Note: 伺う (うかがう) is a humble verb meaning "to visit," "to inquire."


That's all for this one.

Don't forget to go back and review: [NDL #626] - JLPT N2: 次第で (しだいで).

Also, I know you were planning to go parade around as the 次第 master after reading this, but please don't. We still have a couple more 次第 lessons to cover for our N2 grammar prep. Plus no one will know or care what you're talking about.

If you're feeling hungry for some more Japanese goodness, I recommend brushing up on your super-polite language, as it was used several times in this lesson:
- [NDL #602] - JLPT N4: ~られる ([honorific passive])
- [NDL #126] - Keigo Japanese - Part I
- [NDL #127] - Keigo Japanese - Part II
- [NDL #128] - Keigo Japanese - Part III
- [NDL #129] - Keigo Japanese - Part IV

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