The Particle ながら II: ながら(も)& ながらに(して)

第231課: The Particle ながら II: ながら(も)& ながらに(して)

In this second installment concerning the particle ながら, we learn about its second most common usage: showing contradiction.


The particle ながら, when used to show contradiction, follows the same restraints on clauses as when it shows simultaneous action. This is because the contradiction involves the same subject and because the two parts of the contradiction still happen in the same time span.

Unlike its primary usage to show non-contradictory simultaneous action, this use of ながら can attach to pretty much anything. You can find it directly after nouns, adjectival nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs.

  Affirmative Negative
 Nouns N (であり)+ ながら(も) Nではない + ながら(も)
 Adjectival Nouns Adj. N(であり)+ながら(も) Adj. Nではない+ながら(も)
 Adjectives Adj. +ながら(も) Drop /i/ + くない+ながら(も)
 Adverbs Adv. + ながら(も) 
 Verbs Stem + ながら(も) V +ない → ず・ぬ + ながら(も)

  The productivity of all these combinations will not be equal in the real world. ながら(も) is most frequently used with verbs, and for everything else it may be follow, creative license is required. Due to the fact that this pattern is more so employed in the written language, you will need to explore this grammar on a case-by-case basis. There are many set phrases that utilize this, some of which are very important. For instance, 残念だ  means “to be unfortunate,” and when used with ながら as 残念ながら, it’s used to mean “unfortunately…”

The addition of the particle も in this expression is only used for emphatic purposes. As such , normally, ながら and ながらも are interchangeable.

1. 彼女かのじょはあんなにいろいろ苦労くろうしながらも、それをにしていない。
Even though she’s going through that many troubles, she isn’t worrying about them.

2. 湯沢ゆざわさんは大企業だいきぎょう社長しゃちょう(であり)ながら(も)、しずかないた物腰ものごし印象的いんしょうてきでした。
Though Mr. Yuzawa is the president of a large corporation, his quiet and calm demeanor is impressive.

3. 真由子まゆこ初心者しょしんしゃ(であり)ながら(も)、潜在せんざい能力のうりょくはかなりあるとおもいます。
Even though Mayuko is a beginner, I think that her skills are considerably good. 

4. しかしながら、予算案よさんあんはまだ修正しゅうせい余地よちがある。
Nevertheless, the budget still has plenty of room for improvement.

5. すでに一月いちがつごしてしまったのですが、おそまきながら初詣はつもうでかけました。
I’ve already let January pass, but I belatedly went out to my first shrine visit of the New Year.

6. 讃岐さぬきうどんとはいながらも、ほとんどは外国産がいこくさん小麦こむぎつくられている。
Although we call it “Sanuki Udon,” most of it is made with foreign manufactured wheat.

7. 彼女かのじょはダイエットしているといながら(も)ケーキばかりべている。
Although she says that she’s on a diet, all she eats is cake.

8. ずかしながら、自己紹介じこしょうかいです。
As embarrassing as this is, this is my self-introduction.

Form Note:  Note that with the adjective 恥ずかしい, the final /i/ is dropped.

9.{ われ自分じぶん}ながらなさけない。
This is deplorable even if I do say so myself.

10. ゾンビーはんでいながらも、生前せいぜんおな行動こうどうかえします。
Zombies, though dead, repeat the same actions as when they were alive.

11. ゆっくりながら(も)、完成かんせいちかづいています。
Although slowly, I’m approaching completion.

12. 残念ざんねんながら、記録きろく更新こうしんできませんでした。
Unfortunately, I was unable to break the record.

13. 憲太郎君けんたろうくん失敗しっぱいするとわかりながら(も)、そのままやってしまう性格せいかくだ。
Kentaro has the kind of personality of doing something as is even if he understands that he’ll fail.

14. かみゆるさないつみだとっていながらも、故意こいつづけていく。
To continue purposely doing something whilst knowing it is a sin God does not condone.

15. 社員しゃいん不正ふせいりながら勧誘かんゆうしていたことがわかりました。
It has been discovered that company employees were soliciting whilst knowing of the illegality.

16. せまいながらも、自分じぶんのアパートをれることができました。
While small, I’ve obtained my own apartment.

17. まずしいながらも、おだやかにらすことができます。
Once can live calmly live whilst being poor.

18. およばずながら、一生懸命いっしょうけんめいやります。
I’ll do it to the best of my ability, as poor as that may be.

19. 完全かんぜんではないながらも、英語えいごつづりとおとにはある程度規則ていどきそくがあります。
Although not absolute, there are rules to some degree to the spelling and sounds of English.


もさることながら is a set phrase that follows nouns that states that the one quality is of course true, but a second quality is also just as so.

20. 中華料理ちゅうかりょうりあじもさることながら、健康けんこうにいいですよ。
It goes without saying that Chinese food is tasty, but it’s also good for you.  

21. 富士山ふじさん紅葉もみじもさることながら、冬景色ふゆげしき綺麗きれいです。
The autumn leaves of Mt. Fuji go without saying, but its winter-scape is also pretty.

22. このくるま燃費ねんぴさもさることながら、ネットじょうでの評判ひょうばんたかかったです。
 The gas mileage of this car goes without saying, but its internet review was high as well.


In the patterns ながらに(して)or ながら(の), the particle ながら may also mean “as” as in staying “as is” in a certain condition.  Just as is the case with the past usage, instances of this meaning ought to be learned on a case-by-case basis.

23. すべてのひとまれながらに平等びょうどうである。
All men are born equal.

24. 田中たなかさんはいえながらにして、つき70ななじゅう万円まんえんくらいの収入しゅうにゅうている。
Mr. Tanaka earns an income of approximately 700,000 yen a month whilst staying at home.

25. 村民そんみんむかしながらの伝統でんとうまもつづけている。
The villages continue protecting traditions as they were long ago.

26. かれ子供こどもながらにしっかりしている。
He’s quite level-headed despite being a kid.

27. 夏子なつこは、自分じぶんまえこった悲惨ひさん出来事できごとなみだながらにかたりました。
Natsuko tearfully spoke of the tragic events that transpired in front of her eyes.

28. いつもながら、彼氏かれし料理りょうりはとてもうまい。
My boyfriend’s cooking is very delicious as always.

29. この会社かいしゃむかしながらの製法せいほう豆腐とうふつくっている。
This company makes tofu with traditional methods.

30. 人間にんげんには、まれながらにして貧富ひんぷがある。
Humans are born with a disparity of wealth.