Combination Particles with ばかり

第276課: Combination Particles with ばかり

     ばかり is a very important particle and is in many combination particles.

The Adverbial Particle ばかり

     ばかり is used in several important usages and may be ばっかり, ばかし, or ばっか in colloquial settings.

1. Shows degree.

1. リンゴを二つばかりください。
    Please give me (approximately) two apples.

2. 旅行の費用ひようは全部で50万円ばかりかかりました。
    The total cost of the trip came to around 500,000 yen.

3. 運動選手さんは10キロばかり競走きょうそうに走りました。
    The athlete ran about 10 kilometers in the race.

2. Shows limitation.

 1. Used with nominals to show everything is just a certain thing.
 2. After a noun or in between て and いる meaning “just doing”.
 3. ばかりだ expresses what’s yielded in a one-sided situation.

4. 見渡す限り一面雪ばかりでした。
    There was nothing but snow as far as I could see.

5. 弟は外で遊んでばかりいます。
    My younger brother does nothing but play outside.

6. 兄はコンピューターを使ってばかりいる。でも、毎度クラッシュしてしまうから、お返しされるんだ。
My older brother is always just using the computer. But, since every time he uses it it crashes, I get payback.

7. 国際問題は悪くなるばかりだ。
    The international problem is just getting worse.

8. その子犬はいつも眠ってばかりいる。
    That puppy is always just sleeping.

9. 家にばかりいないで、たまには外出しよう。
    Don’t just stay home. Let’s go out once in a while.

      People could only move in confusion while looking for a place to escape by the sudden blackout.

3. Either after ~ん, which must follow the original 未然形 for all verbs, or the 連体形, ばかり may also show that “something is as if it is going to happen”. It does not have to literally be the case. This pattern may also be used to show an excessive/extreme degree.  

11. 雨が降り出さんばかりの空模様もようだ。
     The sky is as if it’s about to rain.

      The bag was filled as if it was about to burst.

13. ボールは爆発せんばかりに、ふくらんでいた。
      The ball expanded as if it were about to explode.

14. 彼は爆発せんばかりに、ほおを膨らませていた。
      He was about to explode (in anger). 

Historical Note: The ~ん comes from the old negative ending ~ぬ, and the pattern ~ぬばかりだ was equivalent to しないだけで・・・したかと思うほど. It eventually got confused with the old volitional form ~ん・む, which brought about the sense that it looks like it’s about to happen.  

Reading Note: 頬 can also be read as ほほ.

4. After ~た it shows what is yielded right after something. It is of a moment. In other words, the event in question can’t have a long duration. So, things like 徹夜したばかり are wrong.

15. 20歳になったばかりだ。
     I just turned 20.

16. 僕はたった今着いたばかりだ。
     I only just arrived.

17. 寝たばかりのようだ。
     It looks like he just fell asleep.

18. 寝たばかり。X
     I just slept.  

19. はい、昨日覚えたばかりですから。
     Yes, it’s because I just learned it yesterday.  

20. 起きたばかりです。
      I just woke up. 

21. 私は習ったばかりの日本語を使ってみました。
      I tried using Japanese I had just learned.

22. 学期が始まったばかりなので、まだあんまり忙しくない。
     Since the semester started, I’m still not that busy. 

23. さっき食べたばかりなのに、またすぐおなかが空いてしまった。
     Although I had just eaten a little while ago, I got hungry again right away.

24. この本は出版されたばかりだ。
     This book has just been printed.

25. 昼ご飯を食べたばっかりなのに、もうお腹がすきました。
     Although I just ate lunch, I’m already hungry.

読み物: アイヌ語を守ろう!


1. What is the overall gist?

2. Find and explain the usage of ばかり.

3. What is the Ainu language described as?

4. What has been done according to the reading to preserve it?

Reading Note: 代々 = だいだい・よよ. The last reading is less common.

Combination Particles of ばかり

     The chart below illustrates the usages and meanings of the combination particles of ばかり. Then, the chart will be followed by examples.

  Meaning Description
 ~ばかりに Only Because Shows what happens solely due to…
 ~ばかりか Not only, but Shows a negative extreme and then another.
 ~ばかり[で・じゃ]なく Not only, but also Shows an extreme and then presents another.

Grammar Note: ~ばかりに is only seen after a dependent clause. All other ばかり are simply the two separate particles used right next to each other.


26. あの終電車に乗ったばかりに、事故にった。
      I was in the wreck only because I road on the last train.

27. 犯罪はんざいの場にたまたま居合わせたばかりに、事件に巻き込まれてしまうということはよくあります。
Getting dragged into a case solely due to the fact that you just happen to be at the crime scene happens a lot.

28. 彼はお金がないばかりに友だちも少ない。
      His friends are even few solely because he has no money.

29. 頭ばかりか胸も痛いです。
      Not only my head but my chest hurts, too.

30. 彼は教授きょうじゅにゴマをするばかりか、カンニングまでしていい点を取ろうとするそうです。友人ではあるけど、信じられないよ。
I hear that not only butters up his professors, but even goes so far as to cheat to try to get a good grade. Although he’s a friend, I can’t believe it. 

31. 日本語ばかりでなく韓国語も勉強したいです。
      Not only do I want to study Japanese, but I also want to study Korean.

32. のどかわいたばかりじゃなく、お腹もいた。
      Not only am I thirsty, I’m also hungry.