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かわりに

かわりに

かわりに Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Phrase

Essential Meaning: In place of / Instead of / To make up for

Construction: 

  • Noun + のわりに
    • E.g. 先生せんせいわりに [In place of the teacher]
  • (Verb / い-Adjective) informal + わりに
    • E.g. はなわりに [Instead of speaking]
    • E.g. べるわりに [Instead of eating]
    • E.g. たかわりに [Instead of being expensive]
  • な-Adjective Stem + [な / だった] + わりに
    • E.g. しずかなわりに [Instead of being quiet]

Notes:

  • かわりに (わりに in kanji) basically means “In place of“, “Instead of“, or “To make up for“. Its usage depends on what part of speech precedes わりに.
  • The structure Noun 1 のわりに Noun 2 means “Noun 2 in place of / instead of Noun 1“. In other words, Noun 2 serves as a substitute for Noun 1 or takes Noun 1’s place. These nouns can be people or objects.
    • E.g. ビールのわりにさけいました。[Instead of beer, I bought sake.]
    • E.g. わたしわりにちちってもいいですか。 [Is it OK if my father goes in my place?]
  • The structure Sentence 1 わりに Sentence 2, means “Sentence 2 to make up for / to compensate for Sentence 1“. In other words, the action or state in Sentence 2 is performed in order to make up for some action or state in Sentence 1.
    • E.g. 土曜日どようび仕事しごとをするわりに月曜日げつようびやすむ。[To compensate for the fact that Saturday is a work day, I have Monday off.]
    • E.g. 手伝てつだってあげるわりにませてください。[To compensate me for helping you, why don’t you buy me a drink?]
    • E.g. ぼくのアパートは不便ふべんわりに家賃やちんやすい。[My apartment rent is cheap to compensate for the inconvenience.]
  • In certain situations, Sentence 1 わりに Sentence 2 is interchangeable with the conjunctions けれども or しかし to convey the same basic idea. However, けれども and しかし can only be replaced by わりに when there is a compensatory aspect to the sentences.
    • E.g. わたしあまいものをたくさんべるかわりにみがく。[I brush my teeth well to compensate for the fact that I eat a lot of sweets.]
    • E.g. わたしあまいものをたくさんべるけれども、みがく。[Although I eat a lot of sweets, I brush my teeth well.] In this case, けれども replaces わりに and the sentence still conveys the same basic compensatory meaning.
    • E.g. わたしあまいものをたくさんべる。しかしみがく。[I eat a lot of sweets. However, I brush my teeth well.] In this case, しかし replaces わりに and the sentence still conveys the same basic compensatory meaning.
    • *わたしあまいものをたくさんべるわりにつよい。[To compensate for the fact that I eat a lot of sweets, my teeth are strong.] This sentence doesn’t make sense because the situation in Sentence 2 (i.e. “My teeth are strong“) is not brought about to compensate for the situation in Sentence 1 (i.e. “I eat a lot of sweets“). Instead, Sentence 1 is a pre-existing natural state and does not have a compensatory aspect. Therefore, わりに is inappropriate and should be replaced by しかし or けれども.

Example Sentences:

先生せんせいわりにわたしおしえた。[I taught in place of the teacher.]

土曜日どようび仕事しごとをするわりに月曜日げつようびやすむ。[To compensate for the fact that Saturday is a work day, I have Monday off.]

今日きょうよるおそくまでおどわりに明日あした一日中いちにちじゅう勉強べんきょうします。[To compensate for the fact that I will be out late dancing tonight, I will study all day tomorrow.]

英語えいごおしえてあげたわりに日本語にほんごおしえてもらった。[To compensate me for teaching English, I was taught Japanese.]

そのくるまやすかったわりによく故障こしょうした。[In exchange for the fact that the car was cheap, it broke down often.]

WILD Examples:

Listen for this line at 2:07: さようならのわりにするよ、みんなありがとう [Instead of saying goodbye, we’re doing this. Thank you everyone!]
Listen to this line from 1:02: ケーキのわりにきみがこさえたおむすびのしおむねにしみた [The salt from the rice balls that you made instead of cake permeated my chest]

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