第188課: Conjunctions

     Conjunctions 接続詞せつぞくし connect sentences together in Japanese. They don’t normally connect clauses, however. This is quite unlike English, which often doesn’t like some conjunctions being used at the beginning of a sentence. Instead, Japanese does a good job distinguishing between conjunctions, which is the topic of this lesson, and conjunctive particles.

Some conjunctive phrases are made of multiple phrases. This makes things a bit more complicated, especially when things look very similar minus one thing. Also be aware that all of the conjunctions may not be expressed with either conjunctions or conjunctive particles and thus will not be mentioned in this lesson.

In this this lesson conjunctions are labeled with the following terms. This lesson does not aim to teach you all conjunctive phrases in Japanese, but you will definitely learn what they are, how they are used, and plenty to practice with.

 Function   Abbreviation
 Parallelism 並行 へいこう 並
 Alternation 代替 だいがえ 代
 Addition 添加 てんか 添
 Change 転換 てんかん 転
 Concession 逆接 ぎゃくせつ 逆
 Sequence 連続 れんぞく 連

Single Word Conjunctions

 転 さて Now 添 加えて Moreover
 逆 しかし However 逆 一方 On the other hand
 添 しかも Moreover 連 従って Therefore
 代 即ち In other words 逆 ただし Provided
 添 そして And 並 及び And
 転 そもそも In the first place 添 なお Still
 添 且つ Also 連 よって Thus

Usage Notes:

1. さて is used to change the topic of conversation. It may also be an interjection similar to “well” in English.
2. しかし is not used as frequently as the English equivalent “however”. It is used, first and foremost, to contrast two different things.
3. When (その)一方いっぽう(では)  is used with 他方たほう(では) before it, in which case その may never precede it, the interpretation changes to “on the one hand”. This extended pattern is not likely to be used in the spoken language.
4. Due to it looking like しかし, しかも is often misused by students. It is just like そのうえに.
5. そして shows that something additionally happens.


1a. あるいは本当かもしれません。
1b. 恐   おそらく(それが)本当かもしれません。(More natural) 
      Perhaps that’s true.

2. 明朝十時集合。ただし場合中止
    A 10 o’clock meeting tomorrow, but cancellation in case of rain.

3. しかも、あられが降ってるんだよ。
    Besides, it’s hailing!

漢字 Note: あられ may rarely be spelled as霰

4. そりゃそもそもの始まりだった。
    That’s all it was to begin with.

5. 命は天にり。らばただ時を待つのみ。(Old-fashioned)
    Life is in heaven. So, we just wait for the time.

6a. よく学びつよく遊ぶ。(Not an imperative; Set phrase; old-fashioned)
6b. よく学びよく遊べ。(Imperative)
      Study well and play well.

7. お金はすなわち幸福と考える。
    To think of money, in other words, happiness.

8. しかし、景気けいきはまだ回復かいふくしない。
    However, the economy hasn’t recovered.

9. {さて・さあ}、始めよう。
     Well, let’s begin.

10. だったら、手伝てつだおう。
    If that’s the case, I’ll help.

11. ただし雨の場合は延期えんき
      However, it will be postponed in the case of rain.

12. 彼女は歌人かじんであり、かつ小説家であります。
     She is a tanka poet, and she is also a novelist.

13. あいつはそもそも殺すつもりはなかった。
      He didn’t have an intention of killing in the first case.

14. 0たい0の均衡きんこうやぶる。
      To break a tie of 0-0.

Word Note: 対 is the equivalent of “versus”. 

15. ず日本へ行きました。そしていろいろなところへ行きました。
      First of all, I went to Japan, and I went to a lot of different places. 

16. よってくだんごとし。(Set phrase; Formal)
      Therefore, it is as the aforementioned statement.

Multiple Word Conjunctions

 連 そのうえ Besides 連 そのうち Some day
 代 または Or 添 ところで By the way
 連 何故なら Because 連 そればかりか Besides
 逆 だから Because 連 さもないと  Otherwise 
 添 それで And so 連 それから Then
 代 それとも Or 連 それなら If so
 添 こうして With this 添 そうして With that
 代 もしくは Or 逆 それどころか Rather
 並 並びに Both…and… 逆 それでも Nevertheless
 連 それ故 Therefore, thus 連 それにしても Even so
 連 故に Accordingly 連 それにつけても Anyway
 逆 だが But 連 それはさておき By the way
 連 それに Moreover   

17. それゆえ、銃撃戦じゅうげきせん死者ししゃ百人以上のぼります。
      Therefore, the casualties from the shoot-out will climb to over 100.

18a. れはえずあふしているにもとのではない。
18b. 行れはえずして、しかももとのにあらず。(Original Classical version)
        The flow of a passing river endlessly flows; hence, it is not the original water.

19. そのわりに、った。
      Instead, I bought a book.

20. ところでお仕事は?
      By the way, your job is?

21. それにつけてもすのは時代だ。
      Anyways, that reminds me of the good old days.

22. 新語並しんごならびに外来語がいらいごかんする資料しりょう調しらべる。
      To examine data about both neologisms and foreign expressions.

23. そういえば、久実さんはどうしてるんだろう?
      Now that I think of it, I wonder what Kumi is doing?

24. 日本語には同音異義語どうおんいぎごい。{に・それゆえ・よって・そういうわけで・そのようなわけで・従って・このた め・そのため・だから・このことから}、漢字く。
Japanese has a lot of homophones. Therefore, you write with Kanji.

Historical Note: The introduction of 漢字 caused Japanese to have a lot of homophones.

Word Note: From the single example above, there are a lot of possible conjunctions out there that relatively mean the same thing. However, what are their exact differences?

  • に shows that due to the fact it’s after, the following is as effect.
  • それに shows that the stated matter is reason for the next case stated after it.
  • よって states that the previous sentence as the reason or evidence. 
  • そういわけで・そのようなわけで = With that reason
  • 従って = Therefore; so; consequently.
  • このため・これゆえに = Points that as the goal or reason.
  • そのため = このため. This is a rare occasion with これ are interchangeable それ.
  • だから = So; because
  • このことから ≒ With this

Even in English, there are several interchangeable but slightly different phrases that can be used. The specifics and impromptu nature of speech at a given situation is the ultimate determining factor. Some of these are more formal or casual then the others. So, that has a lot to do with which is used. 

25a. だからわないことじゃない。
25b. だからわんこっちゃない。(Slang/very casual)
        I told you so.

26. その結果けっか試験しけんかった。
      Because of that, I passed the exam.

27. それはさておき、東京に引っすんだ。
       By the way, I’m moving to Tokyo.

28. それにしても{どれも・いずれも}けっして完璧かんぺきじゃないね。
       Even so, nothing is perfect, you know?

29. しかしながら、予算よさんがかかりすぎる。
      However, it is too much for the budget.

30. 我思われおもう、あり。
       I think; therefore,I am.

31. そればかりか動物された。
      Besides that, even the animals were killed.

32. それどころか、もう20歳です。
       Rather, he’s already twenty.

33. その結果試験ちた。
       And thus, I failed the exam. 

34. さもないと警察ぶぞ。
      If you don’t, I’ll call the police.

35. 度々インフルエンザに市民の半分もしくは全員ぜんいんかかってとこにつくこともある。
      Often, (the city) also has times where half or all of the citizens are down with influenza.

36. それなら、いつも学校おくれるのはどういうわけですか。
      If that’s the case, how is it that you’re always late to school?

 それで, それに, それから, & そして

   Many people confuse それで and それに. それで shows that what was stated before is the reason or cause for what follows while それに shows another additional fact or situation. Also, if the previous facts were positive in nature, so should the additional information. This is the same for negative things too. そこで is also similar to それで, but it is specifically used to when you know in detail the reason for what follows. The previous context is very concrete, and this is not always the case with それで. そこで can also be used to mean さて, and this is something それで never means.

Other related conjunctions include それから and そして. The former is used to mean “after that/then” showing chronological order of events. The latter is the generic “and”.

37. 韓国語面白いです。それに、やくちます。
      Korean is interesting. Moreover, it’s beneficial.

38. 「ロッテリアは値段も安いし、おいしいんです」「それで人が多いんですね」
      “Lotteria is cheap and delicious” “So, that’s why it’s crowded.” 

39. きのう風邪を引きました。それで、今日学校んだんです。
      I caught a cold yesterday. So, I stayed away from school today.

40. 昨日授業じゅぎょうのあと公園きました。それから、三時間ぐらい友達をしました。
      Yesterday, I went to the park after class. Then, I talked for about three hours with friends.

41. 私おととし五月卒業そつぎょうしましたが、それからずっと仕事しています。
      I graduated in May two years ago, but I’ve been searching for a job ever since. 

42. 「このごろどうですか。しいですか」「宿題がたくさんありますし、それに、ひま時間はほとんどありません」
      “How have you been lately? Are you busy?” “I have a lot of homework, and on top of that, I barely            have any free time”.

43. 「あなたのアパートは、どんなアパートですか」「のアパートはきれいなところですし、それに家賃やちんいの          で、みやすいです」
       “What kind of apartment do you have?” “My apartment is a pretty place, and since the rent is cheap,         it’s easy to live there”.

Phrase Note: When using それに, all the parts of the sentence must either have positive or negative connotations but never both! 

44. 「あなたのんでいるはどんなですか」「人口なくしいです。それに、雰囲気ふんいきのよいところです」
       “What kind of town is the town that you live in?” “It’s a small, beautiful town. Moreover, it is a local             with a good atmosphere”.

Word Note can replace 人口 above, but it is not the best choice of the two. 

45. 「日本語勉強はどうですか」「宿題簡単ですし、それに日本人毎日会話しております」
      “How are your Japanese studies?” “My homework is easy, and I talk to Japanese people every day”.

 読み物: アイヌ語を守ろう!

This is an example of a small speech in Japanese. Read through the text and answer the questions that follow. Conjunctions will be in bold. No English will be given. You are free to use previous lessons and dictionary resources to understand the text. 








1. What is the theme of this speech?
2. Why is Ainu important to protect according to this person?
3. What are some examples of Ainu influence in Japanese?
4. What has become of the Ainu speaking population?
5. What is being doing to protect Ainu?
6. What is the presenter majoring in?
7. What is language linked to?
8. Is it still likely Ainu will die out?