In the Japanese language, the particle de is often used as the equivalent of the English words at and by. For example, “I went by car” is translated as kuruma de ikimashita. However, the particle de can also be used to indicate cause. When one thing causes another to happen we can create a Japanese sentence using de.
Let’s think about some cause sentences in English. For example: Because I was sick, I took a day off; Because they were expensive, I didn’t buy any souvenirs; Because of the earthquake, the house was destroyed.
We can use de to translate the above sentences to Japanese. The above sentences are things that happened that we were not in control of (we couldn’t help getting sick, etc.) What we can’t do is use de to describe your intentions or will. For example, we can’t use de to say “Because I am tired, I won’t go to work tomorrow”.
So, let’s translate the above sentences to Japanese:
Because I was sick, I took the day off
byouki de kaisha o yasumimashita
Because they were expensive, I didn’t buy any souvenirs
takai omiyage de kaimasendeshita
Because of the earthquake, the house was destroyed
jishin de ie ga kowaremashita
Let’s break down the sentences:
yasumimashita past tense of “rest”
takai expensive, high
kaimasendeshita didn’t buy