第155課: ~とおりに

In this lesson, we will learn about a phrase composed of a generic noun and the standard-marking particle に. The noun in question this time is 通り, which literally refers to a road in a town in which people and cars pass along. First, we will study more literal definitions of the word and then learn about the expression ~とおりに, the true focus of this lesson.

Intonation Note: とおり↓ 

The Literal Definitions of 通り

The most basic meaning of 通り is “road” as in a road that runs through a town in which people and things (cars, carts, animals, etc.) pass along. In meaning street, it can be used as a suffix following place names. In this situation, it is pronounced as どおり.

1. 前面ぜんめん歩道ほどうのある比較的大ひかくてきおおきなとおりにめんしている。
The front part faces a relatively large street with a sidewalk.

2. 銀座通ぎんざどおりにちかいので、利用者りようしゃおおい。
Because it is close to Ginza Street, there are lots of consumers.

通り not only can mean “road,” but it can also refer to the flow of people and things trafficking said road. Thus, it is akin to “street traffic,” which isn’t the same “traffic” as in one is stuck in traffic. That is technically referred to as “traffic conjugation,” which translated as 渋滞.

3. みちせまく、くるまとおりがおおい。
The street is narrow, and there is a lot of vehicle traffic.

From this concept of the flowing of things, 通り by extension can also refer to the flow of liquid and gases. It can also refer to the transmission of sound and by extension the reach of someone’s voice. And from extension of this, the meaning of reputation also comes about. After all, one’s reputation is formed by the dissemination and coalescence of what others are saying.

4. 空気くうきみずとおりをくして植物しょくぶつ酸素さんそあたえるという仕組しくみです。
It’s a mechanism that gives oxygen to the plant roots by bettering the flow of air and water.

5. とおりのわるこえこまっています。
I’m bothered with my voice not carrying well.

6. 自分じぶん業界ぎょうかいとおりがさそうな名前なまえ使つかえばいいのではないかとおもいます。
I think it’d be a good idea to choose a name that seems reputable in one’s industry.

By further extension, the very flow of ideas that compose one’s understanding is yet another meaning of 通り. With understanding comes methods, which is how 通り can be used as a counter to count “method.”

7. いまのところとおりの説明せつめいだろうか。
Would it really be a sensible explanation currently?

8. 白髪しらがになるパターンは3さんとおりあります。
There are three patterns to turning gray. 

~とおりに & ~どおりに

It is this last meaning of “method” that forms the semantic basis for the grammar pattern ~とおりに meaning “just as.” ~とおりに  follows after nouns or verbal expressions.

 Part of Speech Pattern Forms Examples
 Nouns ~のとおりに
 地図{のとおりに・どおりに}(according to the map)
 Verbs ~るとおりに
 言うとおりに (just as…says)
 言ったとおりに (just as…said)

As demonstrated, when ~とおりに attaches to verbal expressions, the tense of the verb can either be in the non-past or the past tense. However, as is also demonstrated by the chart, one mustn’t interchange the tenses for the other because the meaning will change accordingly.

When ~とおりに attaches to nouns, there are two options. One can use the particle の to attach it to the noun, or one can just append とおりに to the noun with it being consequently voiced as ~どおりに, with the latter option being the most prevalent choice. Grammatically speaking, the particle の here can be viewed as substituting for a fully worded verbal expression. Using ~どおりに, by comparison, causes this semantic simplification to be understood analytically. To understand what this means, consider the following.

9a. 地図ちずのとおりにすすんでください。
9b. 地図どおりにすすんでください。
9c. 地図にいてあるとおりにすすんでください。
Please proceed according to the map. 

Grammatically speaking, all three versions of this sentence are perfectly sound, and you can hear all three versions. 9c, although the wordier version, is still just as viable and usable as the others, and this may very well be because it forms the grammatical basis for why the shorter versions are possible. How one wishes to phrase things is typically based on the flow of the given context.

Another point that must be noted is that Ex. 9 exemplifies the basic sentence pattern X + とおりに + Y, but it’s important to understand that the pattern X + とおりだ is also possible and used profusely.

Orthography Note: Unlike many other grammatical patterns, this one can be just as easily written in Kanji as it can in Hiragana.

Translation Note: ~{とおり・どおり}に is most often translated as “just as/according to.” It implies that one is doing X a certain way 100%.

10. ぼく{が・の}想像そうぞうしたとおりだ。
It’s just as I had imagined.

11. 事実じじつぼく想像通そうぞうどおりだ。
As a matter of fact, it is just as I imagined.

12. みちはまさしく地図ちずどおりにつながっていた。
The route was evidently connected just like the map.

13. 取扱説明書とりあつかいせつめいしょどおりに設置せっちしたのに、接続せつぞくされません。
It won’t connect even though I set it up just like how it was written in the user’s manual.

14. われたとおりにおはしべてみました。
I tried eating it with chopsticks just as I was told.

15. わたし{が・の}うとおりにうごいてください。
Move as I say.

16. わたし{が・の}ったとおりにうごいてください。
Move as I said.

17. わたしったとおりになったでしょう。
It happened just as I said, right?

18. 前日ぜんじつ天気予報てんきよほうのとおりに雨模様あめもよう
Signs of rain just like the weather report the other day said there would be.

19. 午後ごごからは、天気予報てんきよほうどおりにあめってきました。
Just like the weather report said, the rain came starting in the afternoon.

20. なぜ、仕事しごと予定よていどおりにわらないのか。
Why doesn’t work end like planned?

21. 先生せんせいおしえてくださったとおりにやったらけました。
When I did it just how my teacher taught me, I was able to solve it.

22. 本案件ほんあんけん成果物せいかぶつは、期限きげんどおりに納品のうひんされた。
The results of this project were delivered in due course.

23. 自分じぶん都合つごう相手あいて期待きたいし、自分じぶんおもどおりにならないとはらてる。
To get angry when one expects of someone on one’s own circumstances but things don’t turn the way one thought.  

24. 心理学しんりがく理論りろんどおりにひとうごくとはかぎらないし、経済学けいざいがく理論りろんどおりに経済けいざいうごくとはかぎらない。
It isn’t always true that people will operate according to the theories of psychology, and it isn’t always true that the economy will operate according to the theories of economics.

25. 記憶きおくがある事実じじつは、記憶きおくどおりにこたえます。
For facts you have memory of, answer exactly according to your memory.

26. おしえたとおりにやりなさい。
Do it exactly how I’ve taught you.

27. 神様かみさまかならずしも聖書せいしょどおりに行動こうどうするわけではない。
It is not the case that God always acts exactly according to the Bible.

28. 人生じんせいおもどおりに、予想通よそうつうりにいくことばかりではないのだ。
Life isn’t full of things going as one wants or expects.

29. まったおっしゃとおりです。
You’re absolutely right.

30. そのとおりだ。
That’s exactly right.

31. 明日あすから元通もとどおりだね。
Things will be back to normal starting tomorrow, huh.

32. {以下いか下記かき}のとおりです。
(It) is as follows:

33. わたしはいつもどおりです。
Same as usual.

34. わたしにできるかぎり、部長ぶちょうのご指示通しじどおりにおこないました。
I carried it out according to the chief’s instructions to the best of my ability.

35. スケジュールどおりに仕事しごとすすめていきたいとおもいます。
I would like to proceed with the work according to the schedule.

Omission of に

The に after とおり・どおり is the standard-marking に. Unsurprisingly, because the noun itself expresses adherence to a standard by 100%, it is possible to delete it with no effect to the grammaticality of the sentence. However, it is more often used than not.

In fact, it’s quite unnatural to drop に when using ~のとおりに. One motivation for this is that the に used in this expression is also adverbial in nature. It is this adverbial nature that makes it grammatical redundant and thus omissible in expressions like いつもどおり (Ex. 36).

There are also situations where omitting に brings about a more formal tone, similarly to how when it is omitted in other expressions such as ~ために (Ex. 37).

36. 休日きゅうじつでもいつもどおり(に)きてしまう。
I end up waking up as usual even on weekends.

37. 自分じぶんめたことを計画通けいかくどおり(に)実行じっこうできれば、なんでもやれる。
You can do anything if you’re able to carry out according to plan what you’ve decided to do.

38. イギリスのことわざにもあるとおり(に)、自分じぶん国以外くにいがいほかのことをることで、 自分じぶん特徴とくちょうがよりふか理解りかいできるのだ。
Just as is also in the English proverb, one can more deeply understand one’s own characteristics by knowing other things outside one’s own country.


With X + とおりだ being a valid sentence pattern, it is only logical that it can be used to directly modify a noun phrase, and in doing so, one gets ~{とおり・どおり}の.

39. 希望通きぼうどおりの職種しょくしゅきながらも、不満ふまんかんじている若手社員わかてしゃいん意外いがいすくなくない。
The number of young employees who feel frustrated despite being employed in the occupation they hoped for is surprisingly not few.

40. 評判ひょうばんどおりのいホテルだった。
It was a good hotel that lived up to its reputation.


Interestingly, there are two expressions in which ~のとおり follows verbs in the gerund form made with the particle て. These phrases are 見ての通り (as you can see) and 知っての通り (as you know). Grammatically, the particle の can be viewed as taking the place of some other phrase.

As for 見ての通り, one such “other phrase” that would fit perfectly here is わかる. In fact, 見てわかる通り is another way of saying “as you can see.” As for 知っての通り, の can be thought of as a substitute for いる.

It’s important to understand that 見る and 知る can still be used just like other verbs in other forms provided the semantic combination of said form with 通り makes sense. Such examples will be sprinkled in with examples of ~てのとおり below.

Particle Note: Partly due to being set phrases, neither 見ての通り nor  知っての通り are followed by the particle に.

43. てのとおり、はなすのは得意とくいじゃなくてね。
As you can see, I’m not good at speaking.  

44. てわかるとおり、毎日暇まいにちひまです。
As you can see, I’m free with my time every day.

45. グラフ{にる・でかる・の}どおりに、15じゅうご年間ねんかん比率ひりつ4よん.5だった。
[As can be seen in the graph/as can be understood with the graph/exactly as the graph says], the fifteen-year ratio was 4.5.

46. わたし手本てほんしめすから、たとおりにやってみてください。
I’m going to show an example, so try doing it just as you see it.

47. ってのとおり、HPエッチピー攻撃こうげき防御ぼうぎょ異常いじょうたかいのです。
As you know, its HP, attack, and defense are abnormally high.

48. ご存知ぞんちとおり、えは身体しんたいくありません。
As you know, chilliness is not good for the body.

Variant Note: ご存知の通り, alternatively also seen as ご存じの通り, is the honorific form of 知っての通り, and it is actually more frequently used due to it being politer as 知っての通り can often sound too direct.

49. そとは、ごらんとおりの長蛇ちょうだれつです。
Outside, there’s a long line, as you can see.

Variant Note: ご覧の通り is the honorific form of 見ての通り, and is arguably used more than its non-honorific form. As Ex. 49 demonstrates, ご覧の通り can even be used to modify noun phrases with the help of the particle の. The same thing can be said for ご{存知・存じ}の通り, but not for either phrase’s non-honorific form.

50. 皆知みなしっているとおり、顧客こきゃくなしではビジネスはたない。
As everyone knows, business is not viable without customers.

51. だれとおり、かみおも樹脂じゅしからとられる。
As known by everyone, paper is largely taken from resin.


As an aside, it is worth noting that ~とおりに is similar to ~ように, with the latter being translatable as “as.” Just as ~とおりに establishes some standard X by which the agent is to act 100% accordingly to, ~ように can also establish a standard X by which the agent is to act accordingly to, but the expectation is not set at 100%.

52. 説明せつめいしたように適当てきとうにしてください。
Do as you see fit as explained.

53. まえにもったように、この案件あんけん来週らいしゅう金曜日きんようびわる予定よていです。
As was said earlier, this project is scheduled to end on Friday of next week.

54. よくもわるくも、想像そうぞうしたようにはまったくいかないな。
Good or bad, it just doesn’t go at all like I imagine.

55. ごらんのように、めん別々べつべつてきます。
As you can see, the noodles and ingredients come out separately.

Phrase Note: Due to it being more indirect, ご覧のように is somewhat politer than ご覧の通り.