Whether it be…or…: ~といい & ~といわず

第297課: Whether it be…or…: ~といい & ~といわず

This lesson is about two very similar expressions that translate as “whether it be…or…” Though the differences between the two are subtle, understanding the finer differences between the two will be all you’ll have to worry about.


・AといいBといいC: In addition to A and B, there are other things that become C. 

At a basic understanding, the expression ~といい can be described in the above manner. Although everything else in question may not be 100% like “C,” several other related things will be implied by using this pattern. This can be used in positive and negative connotations. Typically, this expression is used primarily in the written language, but it would not be totally odd to use in the spoken language as well.

1. かおりといい、あじといい、県内一けんないいち美味おいしさだとおもう。
Whether it be its fragrance or its taste, I think that it is No. 1 in deliciousness in the prefecture.

2. 日本にほんは、総理そうりをはじめ、政治家せいじかといい官僚かんりょうといいどうしようもないものばかりだ。
As for Japan, not only the Prime Minister, but also whether it be politicians or bureaucrats, it is full of just helpless individuals.

3. 吹雪ふぶき様子ようすもどってきたおっとは、あたまといい、かたといい、ゆきまみれで、まるで雪達磨ゆきだるまのような格好かっこうでした。
My husband, who returned from checking out the status of the blizzard, is covered in snow, whether it be his head or shoulders; it’s as if he’s a snowman.

4. あたまといい、性格せいかくといい、先生せんせいのご主人しゅじん素晴すばらしいです。
Whether it be his brains or his personality, your husband, Sensei, is a wonderful person.

5. 寿司すしといい、うどんといい、和食わしょくのなんでもきです。
Whether it be sushi or udon, I like anything in Japanese cuisine.

Orthography Note: うどん may seldom be spelled as 饂飩.

6. 性能せいのうといい、デザインといい、このコーヒーメーカーが一番好いちばんすきです。
Whether it be its performance or its design, I like this coffee maker the best.

7. 長谷川はせがわさんは、勉強べんきょうといい、スポーツといい、いつでもトップなのよ。(Feminine)
Hasegawa, whether it be his studies or spots,  is always at the top.

8. このまちは、えきからのアクセスといい、便利べんりさといい、むにはちょうどいいところなんですね。
This town is the perfect place to live, whether it be because of its (ease of) access via

9. わずもがな、その部屋へや家具かぐといい、カーテンといい、絨毯じゅうたんといい、素敵すてきすぎるものであふれていた。
It goes without saying, the room was filled with absolutely amazing things, whether it was the future, the curtains, or the carpet.

10. かお色艶いろつやといい、こえりといい、嶋村しまむらさん、本当ほんとうにお元気げんきになられましたね。
From your complexion to the spring in your voice, you’ve really gotten better, haven’t you, Shimamura-san?

11. 品質ひんしつといい、値段ねだんといい、アメリカさん豚肉ぶたにくまさるものはない。
Whether it be its quality or its price, there isn’t anything that beats American pork.

12. 料理りょうりは、あじといいりょうといい満足まんぞくでした。
The cooking, whether it be the taste or the quantity, was satisfactory.


・AといわずBといわずC: Starting with A and B (and others), they all become C.

This pattern is almost identical to ~といい. The only difference is that it indicates that “A” and “B” are C 100%. If this absolute doesn’t hold in reality, then ~といわず becomes ungrammatical and you should use ~といい instead. This may be used in positive or negative contexts. However, it is markedly more subjective than ~といい.

13. 吹雪ふぶき様子ようすもどってきたおっとは、あたまといわず、かたといわず、体全身からだぜんしん雪達磨ゆきだるまのようでした。
My husband, who returned from checking out the status of the blizzard, whether it was his head or his shoulders, he looked like a snowman all over.

14. 彼は入浴中にゅうよくちゅうといわず、就寝中しゅうしんちゅうといわず、片時かたときもスマホを手放てばなさない。
Whether while bathing or sleeping, there is not even a moment he lets go over his smart phone.

15. 日本人にほんじんは、子供こどもといわず大人おとなといわず、漫画まんがやライトノベルなどをよくむ。
Japanese people, whether they be children or adults, frequently read stuff like manga and light novels.

16. わたしはアライグマにといわずあしといわず矢鱈やたらまれて、病院びょういんはこばれました。
I was indiscriminately bitten all over, my hands, feet, etc. by a raccoon and was taken to the hospital.

17. わたしかよっていた中学校ちゅうがっこうには、校長こうちょうといわず、教頭きょうとうといわず、まともに生徒せいとのことをかんがえて仕事しごとんでいるひとは、ひとりもいなかった。
There wasn’t a single person at the middle school I went to, whether it was the principal or the vice principal, who got the job done by earnestly considered students.

18. わたしは、牛肉ぎゅうにくといわず、豚肉ぶたにくといわず、おにく全然食ぜんぜんたべません。
I, whether it be beef or pork, do not eat meat whatsoever.

19. 幸田こうださんは日本酒にほんしゅといわずビールといわず、さけであれば、なんにでもがない。
Whether it be sake or beer, if it’s alcohol, he has a weakness for it.

20. といい口元くちもとといい服装ふくそうといい、本当ほんとうにハンサムだとおもわない?
Whether it be his eyes, his mouth, or his clothes, do you think he’s really handsome?

21. かみといわずふくといわず、とても煙草臭たばこくさくなってしまい、自分じぶん全然吸ぜんぜんすわないのに、まとわりいたにおいで気持きもわるくなることもあります。
Whether it be my hair or clothes, I end up reeking of tobacco, and even though I don’t smoke at all, the odor that follows me is often revolting.

22. 子供こどもたちはかおといわずかみといわずふくといわずどろだらけで、しろせてにやにやわらっていた。
The children were covered in mud, whether it be their faces, hair, or clothes, and were snickering as they showed their white teeth.

23. {ひるといわずよるといわず・昼夜ちゅうやわず}、為替相場かわせそうば時々刻々じじこっこくと{うごいている・わっている}。
The exchange rate moves/changes all day and all night and at every moment.

24. といわずあしといわず、たいじゅうされた。
Not just my hands and feet, but I was bitten by mosquitoes all over my body.

25. かれは、あさといわず、よるといわず、ひまさえあればマンガをんでばかりいるみたいだ。
 Not just in the morning and in the evening, but he reads comics whenever he has time.