Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 8: 9/18

bound to (be), expected to (be), should be (able)

There is also another, even less used kanji for はず:弭。

Verb + はず +
[い]Adjective + はず +
[な]Adjective + + はず +
Noun + + はず +
Verb + はず + です
[い]Adjective + はず + です
[な]Adjective + + はず + です
Noun + + はず + です
Register Standard
使用域 一般
はず, coming from the kanji 筈(はず), is a word in Japanese that is very similar to ‘bound’ in English. This means that it expresses something that the speaker is ‘quite sure is true’, but cannot confirm. The most common translations of はず are ‘bound to be (A)’, and ‘should be (A)’.
As はず is a noun, it may be used in any place that a noun would usually be used. It will often be followed by , or です.
  • 今日(きょう)雨(あめ)降(ふ)はず
    It is supposed to rain today. (But I am not 100% sure if it will)
  • 新幹線(しんかんせん)行(い)っ方(ほう)が速(はや)はず
    It is bound to be faster if we go by shinkansen. (But I am not 100% sure if it will)
  • 彼(かれ)魚(さかな)嫌(きら)いから寿司(すし)嫌(きら)いはず
    He does not like fish, so he is sure to dislike sushi. (But I am not 100% sure if he will)
  • 頼(たの)んのはコーヒーはずだったけどお茶(ちゃ)来(き)
    I was sure that I ordered coffee, but tea came. (But I am not 100% sure if I did)
Despite はず sometimes being translated as ‘should’, this is only when you think that something ‘should be true’, and cannot be used when making suggestions/giving advice. Due to this, ‘bound’ is the more accurate translation of 筈(はず), in almost all situations.
Fun Fact
The (or です) in はずだ may be omitted. This usually makes はず sound a little less certain, like ‘bound to be (A)... probably’. In the same way, speakers may sometimes add はず to the end of their sentences in a similar way to 多分(たぶん), in order to show that they are not 100% certain about whether what they just said is accurate or not.
  • ハリー 今日(きょう)パーティーに行(い)く…はず
    Harry will go to the party today… Probably.
  • 出(で)かけ前(まえ)に家(いえ)中(なか)電気(でんき)全部(ぜんぶ)消(け)しはず
    I turned off all the lights in my house before I left… I’m pretty sure.
Slow Male
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He is bound to return the pen he borrowed.
[He will most definitely return the pen]
My wife is expected to return home by seven o'clock.
Because it is summer, it is supposed to be hot.
Genki II 1st Edition
Page 142
Genki II 2nd Edition
Page 172
みんなの日本語 II
Page 132 [CH 46]
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 133
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 305
[AIAIJ] An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese
Page 153