A: 他迟到了。 B: 这也难怪。 今天地铁坏了。

As I understand it, 也 means also or too. I'm not sure how this fits in this sentence.

  • cf。"汉语800虚词用法词典"也7。表示委婉 used in a euphemistic statement (user: left untranslated) (1)一个外国人,能把汉语说成这样也就很不错了。(2)他要不想去,也只好由他了。(3)一年以后,我对这里的情况也算熟悉了。(4)等我熟悉了这里的情况了,也该回国了。(5)对我来说,一年时间也太短了。(6)贵点儿也没什么,只要质量好。(7)那些旧报纸送给收费品的就是了,也不要他给钱了。cf. "实用现代汉语语法" 常用副词的用法,十三、也(三)用来缓和语气,一般轻读。用"也"会使语气委婉一些,不用"也"会显得直率、生硬。例如:(1)这句话你这样翻译也不能算错,不过。。。这句话的意思是"这句话虽然不能算错,但也不全队"。(2)这件事也不能全怪他,主要是我做得不对。(3)由他唠叨去吧,都给他个装聋,也就过去了。(4)你也太娇气了,说你两句就哭。(5)老太太也不怕滑倒了摔着,下着雨还出来走。cf。jukuu:24 examples for 也难怪, it is little wonder,it is hardly surprising, – user6065 Aug 21 '16 at 4:08
  • 也 still means "also" here: He was late. That's also not strange. The subway was shut down today. – user4452 Aug 21 '16 at 5:51
  • In English you can say "He arrived late and it is not surprising, since the subway is shut down." – Colin McLarty Aug 21 '16 at 7:13
  • "also" may be justified by context, if earlier sth. was stated as not being strange, it also may be noted that none of the 24 examples in jukuu for 也难怪 has "also" or "too" in the translation – user6065 Aug 21 '16 at 7:43
  • @user6065: that's because "also" is superfluous in English, and is omitted in translation. – user4452 Aug 21 '16 at 8:15

here is an adverbial particle that implies "understandably"

Without 也, the sentence would be:

" 难怪他迟到, 今天地铁坏了。" - "Since Subway is out of order today, there's no surprise that he was late."

Adding to emphasize it is "understandable" , the sentence would become:

"这难怪(他迟到), 今天地铁坏了。" - "Since Subway is out of order today, it is understandably no surprise (that he was late).

  • In the second example sentence, the topic "他迟到" is omitted, and "这" replaced it as a pronoun. it is the same as 也难怪他迟到, 今天地铁坏了。"*

  • 也 means " too" or "also" - " this too is no surprise ". implies it is the same as other common events, so it is "understandable".

  • I am looking at the sentence and point out the specific function of a certain particle. the comment by user6065 provided more possibilities, I have to admit, it is equally reasonable to describe 也 is simply used here for *(三)用来缓和语气 ( to soften tone) *. – Tang Ho Aug 21 '16 at 5:01

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