Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 5: 6/21

(わけ)がない

There is no way, There is no reason, It is impossible, Cannot be

Structure

Verb[る](1) + わけない
[な]Adjective + + わけない
[い]Adjective + わけない

(1) Verb[た]

Details

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    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About わけがない

One of the strongest ways to use the noun わけ in Japanese, is in the expression わけがない. This is regularly translated as 'there is no way that (A)', or 'it is impossible that (A)'. However, as mentioned in other わけ lessons, わけ is used very similarly to 'so' in English, so may also be thought of as 'it is SO not (A)', with 'so' being used for emphasis. In this structure, わけ is combined with the case marking particle が, and the い-Adjective ない.
わけがない may be used with verbs, or adjectives in their attributive form.
  • このステーキ2キロもある?!こんな一人(ひとり)()べれるわけがない
    This steak weighs 2kg?! I SO can't eat something like this alone!
  • キムラシェフ()ったパスタよ、不味(まず)(わけ)がないじゃん!
    This pasta is made by Chef Kimura, there is no way this would taste bad!
  • このアパートは線路(せんろ)(となり)あるから(しず)かなわけがない
    This apartment is next to the train track, so there is no way it is quiet.
Caution
Compared to わけではない, わけがない is much stronger, and emphasizes the 'non-existence' of something. This can be thought of as similar to the difference between 'it is so that it isn't (A)' (for わけではない), and 'it is SO not (A)' (for わけがない).
  • (かれ)はいつも(あそ)でいる(ひま)わけではない
    He is always going out, but it is not necessarily so that he has a lot of free time.
  • (かれ)はいつも仕事(しごと)ているから(ひま)わけがない
    Since he is always working, he SO does not have any free time.
'It is so that it isn't (A)' highlights that (A) is a thing that exists, but not in the way of (A). On the other hand, 'it is SO not (A)' highlights that no part of (A) whatsoever can be considered to be correct/accurate.

Examples

  • 日本人(にほんじん)ならそんなことを()わけがない

    There is no way that a Japanese person would say that.

  • ()(つな)いでいるので、子供(こども)勝手(かって)どこかに()わけがない

    I am holding my kid's hand, so there is no way that he would just run off somewhere.

  • 日本(にほん)にいるだけで、日本語(にほんご)(まな)べるわけがない

    There is no way you can learn Japanese from just being in Japan.

  • あれだけ着込(きこ)んだら(さむ)わけがない

    There is no reason why you would feel cold, wearing all those extra clothes.

  • (かれ)(うそ)をつくわけがない

    There is no way he would lie.

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わけがない – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (7 in total)

  • Anthropos888

    Anthropos888

    Here another example from the JLPT 2 exam:

    暑い地方でも、泥と草で太陽光線を避ける家を作れば、激しくなるという _____。

    1. わけがない

    2. わけにはいかない

    3. わけだ

    4. わけではない

    When I see all the different わけ together my brain just shuts off

    So except for 3) the other answers wouldn’t make any sense at all?

  • blacktide

    blacktide

    I see the following note on this grammar point:

    わけがない can be replaced with はずがない, but not always the other way around

    Would it be that はずがない doesn’t denote the same level of impossiblility as わけがない? Like はずがない is very unlikely but not impossible, whereas わけがない is certainly impossible?

  • Daru

    Daru

    Exactly! Its all about level of certainty/possibility.

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