Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 4: 8/21

it doesn't mean that, it is not the case

では can be replaced with じゃ

Verb + わけではない(1)
[い]Adjective + わけではない(1)
[な]Adjective + + わけではない(1)
Noun + (2) + わけではない(1)

(2) である
Verb + わけではありません(1)
[い]Adjective + わけではありません(1)
[な]Adjective + + わけではありません(1)
Noun + (2) + わけではない(1)

(2) である
Register Standard
使用域 一般
As mentioned in the 訳(わけ)だ grammar point, わけ is a 名詞(めいし) (noun) that is used for strong determination/conclusion in Japanese, in the same way that ‘so’ is in English. Naturally, this determination may sometimes be negative, as is the case with わけではない. ではない being the conjugated form of the 助動詞(じょどうし) (auxiliary verb) , the 副助詞(ふくじょし) (adverbial particle) は, and the い-Adjective ない.
わけではない may be translated as ‘it doesn’t mean that (A)’, or ‘it’s not the case that (A)’. Although, ‘it is not necessarily so that it’s (A)’, or ‘so it’s not (A)’ are closer to the actual nuance of わけ. わけではない can be used at the end of any sentence, so long as the word before わけ is in 連体形(れんたいけい) (attributive form).
  • 日本(にほん)住(す)んでいるから日本語(にほんご)話(はな)せるわけではないです。私(わたし)は日本(にほん)来(く)る前(まえ)に日本語(にほんご)勉強(べんきょう)していました。
    It is not the case that I am able to speak Japanese because I live in Japan. I studied Japanese before I came.
  • 私(わたし)家(いえ)は広(ひろ)いわけではないけど、小(ちい)さくもない。
    It is not necessarily so that my house is big, but it is not small either.
  • 仕事(しごと)大変(たいへん)なわけではない。忙(いそが)しいだけ
    It's not that my job is difficult, it's just busy.
  • 熱(ねつ)のわけではないけど、体(からだ)だるい。
    It's not necessarily so that I have a fever, but my body feels heavy.
As always, では may be replaced by じゃ.
  • あの監督(かんとく)は有名(ゆうめい)だけど、映画(えいが)監督(かんとく)して有名(ゆうめい)になったわけじゃない
    That director is famous, but he did not become popular because he directed a movie.
  • あなた悪(わる)かったって言(い)っているわけじゃない
    It's not so that I am saying that you were in the wrong. (I am not strictly saying that you were in the wrong)
Fun Fact
わけだ and わけではない match the explanatory meaning of ‘so’ in English that often replaces words like ‘because’ and ‘since’. However, as we will examine in more detail in the わけがない grammar point, わけ also matches the emphatic nuance of ‘so’, as can be seen in statements like ‘it’s SO not (A)’.
  • あなた事(こと)が嫌(きら)いというわけではない
    It's not necessarily so that I dislike you. (But I sure don’t love you)
  • あなた事(こと)が嫌(きら)いというわけがない
    I SO don't dislike you. (I don't dislike you at all)
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A: 「北海道(ほっかいどう)といえば、Cさんによれば一年中(いちねんじゅう)寒(さむ)いらしい。」
A: "Speaking of Hokkaido, according to C it is cold there all year long."
B: "It doesn’t mean it is cold even in summer."
A: 「Cさんは日本(にっぽん)に十年(じゅうねん)以上(いじょう)住(す)んでる。日本語(にほんご)上手(じょうず)だろうね。」
A: "C has been living in Japan for over ten years. His Japanese is probably amazing, right?"
B: "Even if he has lived in Japan for a long time it doesn’t mean he can speak Japanese."
A: 「天気(てんき)予報(よほう)によると明日(あした)晴(は)れるだろう。」
A: "The weather forecast calls for clear skies tomorrow."
B: "It doesn’t mean it won’t rain."
[AIAIJ] An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese
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