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Kaigi wa go-ji ni owaru hazu desu. (The meeting should end at 5 p.m.)

Situation 1: It’s 4:45 p.m. and two colleagues are talking to each other at the office.

芝: ヤマニ部長は今、会議中ですよね?

ティエン: 会議は5時に終わるはずです。会議室の外で待てば、つかまえられますよ。

Shiba: Yamani-buchō wa ima, kaigi-chū desu yo ne?

Tien: Kaigi wa go-ji ni owaru hazu desu. Kaigishitsu no soto de mateba, tsukamaeraremasu yo.

Shiba: Department head Yamani is in a meeting now, right?

Tien: The meeting should end at 5 p.m. If you wait outside the meeting room, you can catch her.

The word はず is a dependent noun that expresses the speaker’s expectation that something will take place. The structure Xはず — in which “X” can be a noun, verb or adjective phrase in its noun-modifying form — is generally translated as “should X.” It’s important to note that in this situation the speaker likely has a piece of information that makes them certain of their expectation. In Situation 1, Mr. Tien was aware of Ms. Yamani’s schedule and thus says 5時(ごじ)に終(お)わるはず (it should end at 5 p.m.).

今(いま)直(なお)したので、電気(でんき)はつくはずです。 (I fixed the light now, so it should turn on.)

同(おな)じ学校(がっこう)で働(はたら)いているので、田中(たなか)先生(せんせい)は井田(いだ)先生を知(し)っているはずです。 (Ms. Tanaka should know Ms. Ida, they work at the same school.)

Situation 2: Section chief Mr. Okubo and his staff are working at the office.

大久保: 何だか寒くない?

三田: あ、寒いはずですよ。暖房が切れています。

Ōkubo: Nandaka samukunai?

Mita: A, samui hazu desu yo. Danbō ga kirete-imasu.

Okubo: Isn’t it a bit cold?

Mita: Oh, no wonder it’s cold. The heater is off.

The pattern Xはず, in which “X” is the subject, can also be used when the speaker has discovered the reason for something. In this case, Mr. Mita has discovered that the heater is off. In addition to that, the sentence illustrates how はず is used with an i-adjective. Here are some examples with a na-adjective and nouns:

リンさんはパソコンが得意(とくい)なはずなので、その仕事(しごと)はリンさんに頼(たの)むといいですよ。 (Ms. Lin should be good at computers, so it’d be good to ask Ms. Lin to do that job.)

締(し)め切(き)りは来週(らいしゅう)のはずだから、急(いそ)いだほうがいいよ。 (The deadline should be next week, so you’d better hurry.)

店(みせ)の電話番号(でんわばんごう)は03-383-41XXのはずです。(The telephone number of the shop should be 03-383-41XX.)

Note that numbers can be treated as nouns, and that the particle の is used before はず when it follows a noun.

Bonus Dialogue: Two colleagues are gossiping about Mr. Tien.

グレイ: ティエンさんのお母(かあ)さんって、昔(むかし)ファッションモデルだったそうよ。

田町(たまち): そうなんだ。どうりでティエンさん、かっこいいはずね。あんなにかっこよくて優(やさ)しいから、モテモテでしょうね。週末(しゅうまつ)は、いつもデートで忙(いそが)しそうだし。

グレイ: それが、週末はいつもデートじゃないみたい。前(まえ)にホームステイしていたお宅(たく)のご家族(かぞく)のところに遊(あそ)びに行(い)っているみたいよ。同僚(どうりょう)の芝(しば)さんがそう言(い)っていたから。

田町: ええっ?そのお宅に、きれいな娘(むすめ)さんでもいるんじゃない?

グレイ: 娘さんは結婚(けっこん)して家(いえ)にはいないみたいだけど、ときどき旦那(だんな)さんと子(こ)どもを連(つ)れて家に遊びに来(く)るらしいの。今は、息子(むすこ)さんとお母さんの二人暮(ふたりぐ)らしみたいよ。今でもティエンさんにとって本当(ほんとう)の家族みたいだそうよ。だから、田町さんにもチャンスがあるはずよ。あきらめないで!

田町: 私(わたし)にそんな勇気(ゆうき)があったら、こんな片思(かたおも)いなんかしていないはずだわ。

Gray: I heard that Mr. Tien’s mother was a fashion model a while back.

Tamachi: Ahh. Well, no wonder Mr. Tien is so cool. Since he’s so good-looking and sweet, he must be very popular among the ladies. He must be busy with dates on the weekends.

Gray: Actually, it seems he’s not dating all the time on weekends. I heard he’s hanging out with the family he did a homestay with before. His colleague Ms. Shiba said so.

Tamachi: Huh? There’s gotta be a beautiful daughter in the home.

Gray: Apparently, the daughter is married and not in the home but she still sometimes brings her husband and kids around. Only the son and his mom are living there now. I heard they’re like a true family to Mr. Tien. Therefore, you’ve got a chance, Ms. Tamachi. Don’t give up!

Tamachi: If I had that kind of courage, I shouldn’t (be suffering) from such unrequited love.

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