Wild Nihongo!
など / なんか

など / なんか

など / なんか Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Particle

Essential Meaning: Et Cetera / And so on / And the like

Construction: 

  • Noun Phrase + など
    • E.g. 寿司すしなど [Sushi and the like]
  • Noun + など + Particle
    • E.g. フォークなどで [With a fork, and so on]
    • E.g. 寿司すしなどを [Sushi, and so on]

Notes:

  • など is similar to “Et cetera“. It indicates that a listing is in-exhaustive, or it marks an example of some category, idea, or concept (e.g. “Japanese people eat food such as sushi and ramen, for example.“)
  • など is often followed by a particle of some sort (e.g. , , , , から, ). But when など follows a Direct or Indirect Object, and can be optionally dropped.
    • E.g. 大学だいがくではフランスやドイツなど(を)勉強べんきょうした。[At university, I studied things such as French and German.]
  • Particles other than , , and can precede など, but this construction can potentially give the sentence a derogatory meaning, depending on the context.
    • E.g. はしでなどべられない。[We can’t eat with damn chopsticks.] In this context, the particle preceding など conveys the speaker’s contempt over the thought of eating with chopsticks.
    • E.g. すしなどでべるひともいる。[There are people who eat with things such as chopsticks.] In this context, the particle follows など, so the sentence has a neutral interpretation.
  • When the main predicate is negated, if the subject is the speaker or someone psychologically close to the speaker, など tends to convey a sense of humbleness. But when the subject is a third person and the speaker is expressing negativity / contempt over some situation, など emphasizes that feeling of negativity.
    • E.g. A: この翻訳ほんやくをしてくださいませんか。B: こんなむずかしいもの、わたしなどにはできません。[A: Can you do this translation for me? B: A person like me cannot translate such a difficult thing.] This sentence comes across as very modest.
    • E.g. A: 経済学けいざいがく専攻せんこうするつもりですか。B: いいえ、経済学けいざいがくなど専攻せんこうするつもりはありません。[A: Do you intend to major in economics? B: No, I have no intention of studying such things as economics.] This sentence conveys a sense of negativity or aversion towards economics.
  • なんか is the informal, colloquial version of など. When conveying negativity, undesirability, or contempt, なんか amplifies the derogatory meaning. Another similar term is なんて, which can be used with verbs and adjectives as well as nouns in order to emphasize feelings of positivity, surprise, contempt, etc. depending on the context.

Example Sentences:

日本にほんものなかではすしやてんぷらなどがきだ。[Among Japanese foods, I like things such as sushi and tempura.]

A: ふゆやすみはどこにきましょうか。B: ハワイなどどうですか。[A: Where shall we go during winter vacation? B: How about a place like Hawaii?]

この大学だいがくには中国ちゅうごく韓国かんこくなどから学生がくせい大勢おおぜいきます。[At this school, there are a lot of students from places such as China and Korea.]

WILD Examples:

At 0:26, listen for this line: 意味いみなんかないさ、らしがあるだけ [There’s no meaning, there’s just living] In this case, なんか conveys a sort of dismissive attitude toward the idea of life having a meaning.
At 2:01, listen for this line: まえなんかとうさんじゃない![You’re not my father!]

***YouTube videos may be region-locked depending on your country of origin. If you experience issues, please try using a VPN set to a United States IP address.***