Jinshin-jiko-no sei-de densha-ga okureta (The train was late because someone had an accident.)
Situation 1: Mr. Sere bumps into Yuri after leaving the office. They decide to go to a restaurant to have dinner together.
Sere: Kyō-wa, sanzan-datta-yo. Asa-wa jiko-no sei-de densha-ga okurete, kaigi-ni chikoku-suru-shi, kaigi-wa ijō-ni nagabiku-shi, yoru-wa zangyō saserareru-shi.
Yuri: Demo, sono o-kage-de, ban-gohan-wo issho-ni taberareru.
Sere: Today was a terrible day. This morning the train was late because of an accident and I was late for the meeting, which went on for an incredibly long time and so I had to work overtime this evening.
Yuri: But because of that we can eat dinner together!
Today, we will introduce the meanings and usages of the noun せい (because of), which expresses someone’s belief about the cause of something. Using the pattern XせいでY, a speaker can express that X caused Y and that it was undesirable. Since せい is a noun, X is the noun-modifying form of a noun, adjective, verb, phrase or clause. Y is a phrase or clause. Example: 道（みち）が暗（くら）いせいで、電柱（でんちゅう）にぶつかってしまった (I bumped into a utility pole because the road was dark). The antonym of せい is おかげ, which is used when Y is desirable, as Yuri uses it in Situation 1.
Situation 2: Continued from Situation 1.
Sere: Kaigi-ga nagabīta-no-wa, Koiwa-no sei-na-n-da.
Yuri: Aa, yoku Sere-ga uwasa-shite-iru hito-ne. Mata kyōkō-ni hantai-shita-no?
Sere: Koiwa is to blame for prolonging the meeting.
Yuri: Oh, he’s the one you often talk about, isn’t he? Did he strongly object to your suggestion again?
To emphasize the cause (X), the pattern YはXせい is used as in Mr. Sere’s sentence in Situation 2, or as in: 若者（わかもの）が結婚（けっこん）できないのは、社会（しゃかい）のせいだ (Society is to blame for young people that cannot get married). When Y is a clause it has to be changed to a noun-modifying clause that ends in の, as in this example. For avoiding assertion, an idiomatic phrase Xせいか is put at the top of the sentence, as in かぜのせいか、鼻水（はなみず）が出（で）る (I have a running nose, maybe because I have a cold).
Bonus Dialogue: Mr. Mita’s colleagues are worried about him.
グレイ： 三田（みた）さん、どうしたの？ なんだか元気（げんき）がないみたい。
セレ： （はいってくる。） 三田くん、神田（かんだ）くんが合（ごう）コンのメンバー募集（ぼしゅう）しているよ。
三田： あ、行（い）く、行く！ サンキュー、セレくん！（でていく。）
Gray: Hey, Mr. Mita, what’s the matter with you? You look a little down.
Mita: Actually, I have a headache because I drank too much last night.
Gray: I see — you look down because you have a hangover!
Tamachi: We were worried about you, we thought that you had been having love troubles again, but I’m relieved that it was only our imagination.
Gray: But, it’s not like you to have a hangover — you can usually handle your liquor.
Mita: Yeah, I drank too much last night. To tell you the truth, yesterday was my first and last date with Ms. Hashimoto from the secretary section; I was quickly rejected.
Tamachi: Oh, lost love caused his hangover after all!
Sere: (Coming in) Mita, Mr. Kanda is now seeing those who want to attend the group date he organized.
Mita: Oh, I will be joining! Thanks, Sere. [Mita leaves.]
Gray: Hmmm, I’m always impressed how fast Mr. Mita recovers.
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