~desu and ~nan desu

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Spanish (Uruguay)
Hello again. Quick question today:

What is the difference between ~desu and ~nan desu? I've seen "sou desu", for example, but also "sou nan desu". I'm guessing they mean "it is so" and "so that's how it is", but I'm just guessing here.

Thank you!
  • divisortheory

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    Correct, it's not the same nan. The best way I've ever seen of translating "nan desu" is by adding "You see, " at the beginning of the english translation. It doesn't work in the case of "sou nan desu". But the basic idea is to bring the speaker and listener closer together on a point of agreement. It adds "feeling" and "mood" to the expression, not just meaning. In English this can best be expressed through tone of voice.
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