890 - わけがない

JLPT N3: わけがない (there's no way; can't possibly)

わけがない is very similar to はずがない, which we saw in the previous lesson.

...which is to say that a speaker can use わけがない when stating that he or she believes something to be impossible.

Since we're talking about the speaker's belief about something, わけがない is used for subjective judgments.

An example:

幼稚園児にこんな難しい本が読めるわけがない
ようちえんじ に こんな むずかしい ほん が よめる わけがない。
A kindergartner can’t possibly read a book as difficult as this one.
Literally: “kindergartner + に + this kind of + difficult + book + が + can read + わけがない.”

 

Here's another example, one which has some pretty difficult vocabulary words in it:

裁判官や弁護士を目指す人が受ける司法試験が、簡単わけがない
さいばんかん や べんごし を めざす ひと が うける しほうしけん が、 かんたんな わけがない。
There’s no way that the bar exam that people take when they want to become judges, lawyers, and so on is easy.
Literally: “judge + や + lawyer + を + aim at + person + が + take (a test) + bar examination + が + easy + わけがない.”

 

👷 Construction 👷

This is also the same as はずがない

Plain-Form Wordわけがない
NOUNわけがない
na-adjectiveわけがない


Conversely, you could also put である (which we can treat as a plain-form word) between a NOUN or na-adjective and わけがない

NOUN / na-adjectiveであるわけがない

 

Perhaps this goes without saying, but it's also possible to say わけがありません (in more formal speech):

何かの間違いでしょう。彼女が僕を裏切るわけがありません
なにか の まちがい でしょう。 かのじょ が ぼく を うらぎる わけがありません。
There’s got to be some mistake. There’s no way she would betray me.
Literally: “something + の + mistake + でしょう. + She + が + I + を + betray + わけがありません.”


ロレックスの時計がこんなに安いわけがありません。絶対偽物ですよ。
ロレックス の とけい が こんな に やすい わけがありません。 ぜったい にせもの です よ。
There’s no way a Rolex would be this cheap. It’s definitely a fake.
Literally: “Rolex + の + watch + が + this much (=this kind of + に) + cheap + わけがありません. + absolutely + fake + です + よ.”

 

We can drop the in わけがない in informal speech:

あの二人が兄妹わけないよ。この間キスしてるの見たよ。
あの ふたり が きょうだい の わけない よ。 このあいだ キス してる の みた よ。
No way they’re brother and sister. I saw them kissing the other day.
Literally: “that + two people + が + siblings (=brother and sister) + の + わけない + よ. + the other day + kiss + are doing + の + saw + よ.”


In casual language, it is also possible to put after a NOUN, even though a strict grammarian might like you to put there:

あの二人が兄妹わけないよ。この間キスしてるの見たよ。
あの ふたり が きょうだい な わけない よ。 このあいだ キス してる の みた よ。
No way they’re brother and sister. I saw them kissing the other day.
Literally: “that + two people + が + siblings (=brother and sister) + な + わけない + よ. + the other day + kiss + are doing + の + saw + よ.”

 

Now the question on everybody's mind: Are わけがない and はずがない 100% identical?

I'm not entirely sure, to be honest. The grammar books I've consulted say that the two are interchangeable, which would lead us to believe that they are exactly the same.

However, I find that I hear わけがない more often than I hear はずがない. In particular, I hear わけない in casual speech very frequently.

 

Well, that's all for this one.

If you haven't gotten your fill of わけ just yet, maybe go back and read these lessons:
[NDL #681] - JLPT N3: わけにはいかない
[NDL #723] - JLPT N3: ~ないわけにはいかない


We also have a couple more uses of わけ that we've yet to discuss in other N3 lessons. Something to look forward to. ^_^
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