Could someone explain this use of から Please

Hello! On the genki books it says that から Can be used as if it where “because” or “therefore”. But I just came accross a sentence in the Answer key that goes like this:


According to them this means:

I don´t think Mari received a letter from Mari

So i don’t understand they never explained how から could be used as saying “from” Or did I miss something? Maybe it can be redacted another way so that it means because or therefore?



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It means “from” there. I don’t use Genki, so I can’t point you to a place where they teach that meaning, though.

から means “from” generally, as in アメリカから来ました “I’m from America” (literally “I came from America”).

Here’s an imabi article.


Ohhh, I see so it can mean from also.

But what about if I said:


Could it work like that too?

Thanks man!

Why do you have both 私に and まりさんに?

In the case of receiving (in your sentence), に and から are interchangeable.

From a different imabi article:

Particle Note: For “to give”, に is used to mark the recipient while for “to receive”, the giver is marked by に. For the latter, から may be used instead. から, unlike に, may also be used with “receive” aside from an actual person.


Sorry just changed it to the correct particle


Having two things followed by は doesn’t really make much sense either in this case. What are you trying to say?

EDIT: Oh, never mind, the middle part is being sandwiched by 私は…と思います

I do think it would be better as 私はまいさんが though, or with no 私は

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I’ll write this down in my book haha thanks!

It can take both meanings. For example, the phrase “I came from America” would be written as 私はアメリカからきました。

More info:

Yeah, that’s the meaning he remembered being taught in Genki.

I think just dropping the 私は would be clearer as well. Remember that personal pronouns are dropped frequently in Japanese.

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In order to to use から with a na-adjective or noun, you have to have the だ between the noun/na adjective and から. The reason why it means “from” instead “therefore” or “because” is because in that sentence から is modifying a noun without it. In that case, it means “from”.

If you wanted to say person X received thing Z because person Y, you would say


If you wanted to say person X received thing Z from person Y, you would say


Keep in mind, it might be somewhat strange to say because person Y, X received Z. I don’t believe it would have the same implication as in English, but I honestly don’t know.

Here’s the Tae Kim lesson on that by the way

@Leebo so if it is interchangable would this sentence work as well:



Just my two cents: if you are saying someone received/didn’t receive something from someone else, using から is much more clear than using に. From what I have been taught, Japanese people generally use から in that case as well.

That… doesn’t quite sound right to me, though I’m not sure why. If X/Y are both people, I’d expect this:
田中は山村だから本をもらう vs 田中は山村(のせい/おかげ)で本をもらう
(However, "X receives Z from Y’ would be 田中は山村から本をもらう’)

But, if Y is not a person, this works for me:

Anybody around with a better grasp on grammar who can say check the validity of both when Y is a person?

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So in my case if what is being received is a “letter” then it would be ok to use から? because it is a thing that is being received? Is that what you mean?´

Or what is the difference between this two sentences you are mentioning:



Why using だ on the last one?


I think my example is more like the second one:

"If you wanted to say person X received thing Z from person Y, you would say


It is “from” the meaning that the book is trying to get to

This means ‘Tanaka receives (a) book(s) from Yamamura’. The から here is a particle that denotes movement from point A to point B. That’s really what it does - when person goes from Point A to Point B and you want to emphasise their starting location (“I went to school from my friend’s house”), you use noun+から. The reason から is used with 手紙 is because it’s emphasising that not only Mai (and not Mary! Read over the kana carefully) got a letter from Mary. Mai could’ve received other letters, but none of them were from Mary.

In my opinion this is ungrammatical. It means something like ‘Because Tanaka is Yamamura, [he] receives (a) book(s)’. It might work if a person has multiple names/personalities (like ‘because Youko is a Nakajima, she is […]’), but I’m not sure if that’s how it would work. The から here denotes reason: Sentence AからSentence B = Because of Sentence A, Sentence B.

The ‘because’ meaning of から only works if there’s a grammatical sentence before it - that’s why there’s だ before the から. So na-adjectives and nouns get a だ, an i-adjective remains as is, and a verb is used in its plain form. (Using the formal forms is grammatical, but is also ridiculously super formal.)


There is no opinion in grammar. You are just correct here.