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Help with んです。

nalo6451

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Hi guys.

I realise there are a few ways to use んです but for the moment I want to focus on understanding how to use it as an explanation. One thing that's not clear to me is how much you can imply with んです. The following example would seem fine to me (forgive my laziness in writing the questions in English):

Person A: Why didn't I see you at the party tonight?
Person B: あしたテストがあるんてす。

Here, person B has implied they were studying for the test, so they didn't go out. However, what if the questioner asks about a future action? For example:

Person A: Are you coming out the city tonight?
Person B: あしたテストがあるんてす。

To me, responding in such a way seems ambiguous. To say "I have test tomorrow" in response to initial question could mean:

I have test tomorrow (so I can't go out)
I have test tomorrow (so I shouldn't go out)
I have test tomorrow (so I may not go out)
I have test tomorrow (are you really asking me to go out?)...

I think you get the point. My guess is, in this instance, using んです would be incorrect. I have other questions regarding んです, but for now could someone clarify this for me?

Cheers.
 

Toritoribe

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Person B: あしたテストがあるんてす。
There is a typo. It's あるんす. You did the same typo twice.

Person A: Why didn't I see you at the party tonight?
You actually mean "Why didn't I see you at the party last night?" here, right?

Notice that those two questions are not asking the same thing. The former is asking the reason why B didn't come, so "I have test tomorrow" works fine as the explanation of the reason. On the other hand, the latter is asking whether B will come out or not. Thus, this is a yes/no question, not asking the reason. In this case, いいえ、あしたテストがあるんです。 is fine since B answers "No" at first, and then explains the reason why B won't come out.
 

nalo6451

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There is a typo. It's あるんす. You did the same typo twice.


You actually mean "Why didn't I see you at the party last night?" here, right?

Notice that those two questions are not asking the same thing. The former is asking the reason why B didn't come, so "I have test tomorrow" works fine as the explanation of the reason. On the other hand, the latter is asking whether B will come out or not. Thus, this is a yes/no question, not asking the reason. In this case, いいえ、あしたテストがあるんです。 is fine since B answers "No" at first, and then explains the reason why B won't come out.
Thanks Tori. For the record, I did mean tonight. For example, the party has ended and person A has returned home, and if it's still the same day when they asked the question then 'the party that occurred tonight' describes past tense (I could've similarly asked "why didn't I see you at the party this evening?").
 

Toritoribe

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I could've similarly asked "why didn't I see you at the party this evening?"
Yeah, it's just an example for exercise, so I recommend using more common situation, not just possible one. There is no reason to stick to today's party, whether tonight or this evening, right?
 
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