第???課: ~ために II: Due to...

~ために, as hinted at in the introduction of the previous lesson, is not limited to expressing an objective. Another primary interpretation that may or may not coincide with an objective is expressing a cause. This lesson will help you understand exactly how to use and understand this "cause-marking" ~ために and how it contrasts and coincides with the "objective-marking" ~ために.

Marking a Cause

The cause-marking ~ために is used to express the cause of something in a reserved manner. It is equivalent to the English phrase “due to.” It can be seen after nouns, adjectival nouns, adjectives, and verbs. For conjugatable parts of speech, it can be seen after both the non-past and past tenses.

 Part of Speech Non-Past Tense Past Tense
 Nouns N + の + ため(に) N + だった + ため(に)
 Adjectival  Nouns Adj. N + な + ため(に) Adj. N + だった + ため(に)
 Adjectives Adj. + ため(に) Adj. + かった + ため(に)
 Verbs V + ため(に) V + た + ため(に) 

 Semantic Restrictions

The cause-marking ~ために is only used in declarative sentences and the questions made from said sentences. The basic sentence pattern with the cause-marking ために is “A + ために + B.” The A expresses cause if B is the result of A having occurred. Generally speaking, when the agent of A and B are the same, then ~ために expresses an objective, but when the agent of A and B differ, it expresses cause. This rule of thumb only works, though, with the non-past tense. When you see ~ため(に) after the past tense or the progressive form (~ている), or whenever both clauses lack a true active agent, then it is always the cause-marking interpretation.

Particle Note: The に in ~ために is frequently omitted, and when the statement is a positive one, it’s most natural to omit it. When に isn’t present, the statement is as neutral as can be. When に is present, the cause stands out more, but there is no emphasis as to whether the cause is good or bad.

Usage Note: This pattern is almost entirely used in the written language and/or in news(-like speech). 

1. 現在(げんざい)工事(こうじ)のために閉鎖中(へいさちゅう)です。
(Road) currently closed due to construction.

2. (もっと)得票(とくひょう)(おお)候補者(こうほしゃ)でも当選(とうせん)必要(ひつよう)票数(ひょうすう)(とど)かなかったため再選挙(さいせんきょ)(おこな)われることになった。
Due to the fact that not even the candidate who won the most votes reached the necessary count to be elected, a repeat election is to be held.

3. 彼女(かのじょ)容姿端麗(ようしたんれい)な・だったため{に X・ø 〇}、数々(かずかず)男子学生(だんしがくせい)(あこが)れの(まと)だった。
She was the object of adoration of numerous male students due to her attractive face and figure.

4. 彼女(かのじょ)容姿端麗(ようしたんれい)なために数々(かずかず)男子学生告白(だんしがくせいこくはく)されたりするのにうんざりしている。
She is fed up with having numerous male students confess their love for her due to her attractive face and figure.

5. このため、フジテレビは今後(こんご)放送(ほうそう)()りやめることにした。
Because of this, Fuji Television has decided to call off further broadcast (of the program).  

6. 業績(ぎょうせき)右肩下(みぎかたさ)がりの時期(じき)入社(にゅうしゃ)したためか組織変更(そしきへんこう)の繰り(かえ)しで(ひと)出入(でい)りが(はげ)しい。
Perhaps due to having entered the company at a time when performance was declining, turnover was relentless with repeated structure changes.

Grammar Note: ~ためか is equivalent to “perhaps due to.”

7. (あね)結婚(けっこん)するため(ちち)はアルバイトして、お(かね)を貯めている。
My father is working a part-time job and saving money because my older sister is marrying.

Sentence Note: It may also be the case that the father is saving the money so that his daughter may marry, but this would be something one must confirm whether this is true with the father.

8. (あね)結婚(けっこん)するために、アルバイトして、お(かね)を貯めている。
My older sister is working a part-time job saving money in order to marry.

Sentence Note: Because the agent is the same in all clauses of the sentence, ために is interpreted here as “in order to.” The same can be said for Ex. 9.

9. 研究者(けんきゅうしゃ)(なぞ)(さぐ)ため(に)実験(じっけん)()()した。
Scientist have also set out to experimenting (in order) to probe the mystery.

10. 秋雨前線(あきさめぜんせん)(ちか)づいているため(くも)(ぞら)となりました。
The weather has become cloudy due to an autumnal rain front approaching.

11. 結局(けっきょく)最終(さいしゅう)バスに()(おく)れたため(ほか)友達(ともだち)徒歩(とほ)でキャンパスへ帰還(きかん)
Returned to campus by foot with other friends due to ultimately missing the final bus.

Sentence Note: This sentence is representative of blog-style writing.

12. (まわ)りの(ひと)()せびらかしたいために、ゲームがしたいために機種(きしゅ)()える、(きみ)両親(りょうしん)はそんな理由(りゆう)何万(なんまん)(えん))も()せるわけが()いでしょう?
Changing devices because you want to show off to people around or because you want to play a game… there’s no way that your parents could dish out tens of thousands of yen for those sort of reasons, no?

13. (ゆう)べはぐっすり()ていたため地震(じしん)()()きませんでした。
As I was fast asleep last night, I did not feel the earthquake.

14. 十分(じゅうぶん)情報(じょうほう)がないため、サーバーを検証(けんしょう)できません。
Cannot access server due to insufficient information.

15. 濃霧(のうむ)のため(くるま)という(くるま)はみなライトをつけて(はし)っている。
Due to dense fog, every single car is running with its headlights on.

16. ()(きり)のため管制塔(かんせいとう)からの指示(しじ)があるまで、着陸(ちゃくりく)見合(みあ)わせています。
Due to dense fog, landing will be postponed until there are instructions from the control tower.

17. サービスが(わる)かったため(に)、お(きゃく)さんが()った。
Customers have diminished since service was bad.


 ~ます + ~ため(に)

There are also instances in which you will find the cause-marking ~ため(に) after polite endings such as ~ます, ~ました,  and ~ません in attempt to be more formal. This is also almost entirely used in the written language. Some speakers frown on this practice, preferring the plain speech forms; however, it is nonetheless important to know that both ~ますため and ~ませんため are used a lot.

Particle Note: The particle に is seldom seen after ため in this situation.

18. 現時点(げんじてん)では、まだ完治(かんち)(いた)っておりませんため今後(こんご)通院(つういん)して治療(ちりょう)(つづ)ける予定(よてい)です。
Because I have yet to fully recover at this time, I plan on continuing my treatment through outpatient visits going forward.

19. 返品(へんぴん)交換(こうかん)()()けておりませんため、(あらかじ)めご了承下(りょうしょうくだ)さい。
We do not accept returns and/or trades, so please take this into your consideration.

20. ドリンク(だい)(ふく)まれておりませんため現場(げんば)でお支払(しはら)いいただきます。
Drink fees are not included, and so you will pay on site.

21. パスワードの再登録(さいとうろく)必要(ひつよう)となりますため大変(たいへん)手数(てすう)をお()けし(もう)(わけ)ございませんが、何卒(なにとぞ)理解(りかい)とご協力(きょうりょく)をお(ねが)(いた)します。
As password re-registration is required, we ask for your understanding and cooperation. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you.

22. (なお)掲載(けいさい)までには規約違反(きやくいはん)がないかの審査(しんさ)をしておりますため(すこ)しお時間(じかん)がかかることをご了承(りょうしょう)ください。
Also, because we are inspecting as to whether they are no TOS violations before publication, please understand that it will take some time. 

23. (さき)ほど(いただ)いた内容(ないよう)確認点(かくにんてん)御座(ござ)いました(ため)、ご連絡致(れんらくいた)しました。
I'm contacting because of there being something to confirm in the content we received from you earlier.

Spelling Note: Although ため hasn’t been spelled as 為 elsewhere in this lesson, Ex. 23 particularly exemplifies the style of writing seen in business communications where other phrases that would otherwise not be written in 漢字 are to give off an overall formal feel.


Ambiguity Between Objective/Cause-Marking ~ため(に)

There are some situations in which the agent of A and B are the same. Sometimes this causes ambiguity as to whether ~ために expresses an objective or a cause.

①: When A is a noun, if the noun is one that describes an unrealized thing such as 成功 (success)・健康 (health)・幸福 (happiness), then it expresses an objective.

24. 日々(ひび)健康(けんこう)のためにも毎日十分(まいにちじゅうぶん)睡眠(すいみん)()りましょう。
Get plenty of rest daily for your daily healthy as well.

②: If the noun expresses something that has happened/is happening such as 事故 (accident)・失敗 (failure)・あられ (hail), then it expresses cause.

25. 事故(じこ)のため電車(でんしゃ)(おく)れております。
The train has been delayed due to an accident.

26. (あめ)のために試合(しあい)延期(えんき)します。
We will postpone the game due to the rain.

27. ただいま信号待(しんごうま)のため(に)停車(ていしゃ)しております。お(いそ)ぎのところご迷惑(めいわく)をおかけします。
We’ve now stopped to wait for a traffic light. We apologize for this inconvenience as you’re in a hurry.

Sentence Note: Although the use of “to” as the English translation may suggest that Ex. 27 demonstrates an objective, it is not the case that the vehicle stopped purposely to wait for a light. Although such a scenario is theoretically possible, it is also the case in English that “to” refers to cause. Changing the translation from “to” to “in order to,” for this reason, would be wrong.

③: For nouns—or even verbal expressions—in the middle that are neither positive nor negative things, only context can tell which interpretation is meant. Both interpretations can also be meant, which is also true for the English equivalent “for” and “to.”

28. 再検査(さいけんさ)をするため(に)先週(せんしゅう)一日(ついたち)会社(かいしゃ)(やす)みました。
I took a day off last week to get re-examined/for a re-examination.

29. (はは)(むか)えるために()()って掃除(そうじ)をした。
I revved up and cleaned to welcome my mother.

30. それとも利益(りえき)のためにそうなったのかはわからない。
And it’s not clear if it happened so because of/for profit.

31. 今年(ことし)10(じゅう)(がつ)誕生日(たんじょうび)で、(はは)還暦(かんれき)(むか)えるため家族(かぞく)みんなで3(さん)(ぱく)のお(とま)旅行(りょこう)()ってきました。
Our whole family went and came back from going on a three-night trip for my mother turning sixty on her birthday this year in October.