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ため(に)

ため(に)

ため(に) Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Noun

Essential Meaning: On account of / For the sake of / On behalf of / In order to

Construction: 

  • (Verb / い-Adjective) informal + ため(に)
    • E.g. はなすために [In order to speak]
    • E.g. たかいために [Because X is expensive]
  • な-Adjective Stem + [な / だった] + ため(に)
    • E.g. しずかなために [Because X is quiet]
  • Noun + [の / だった] + ため(に)
    • E.g. 先生せんせいのために [For the teacher’s sake / Because X is a teacher]
  • Demonstrative Adjective + ため(に)
    • E.g. そのために [On account of that]

Notes:

  • ため(に) indicates either a cause or reason (e.g. “Because of X“; “Owing to X“) or a purpose (e.g. “For the sake of X“; “On behalf of X“), depending on the context. ため(に) is not colloquial, so it may come across as strange or uptight in normal conversation when expressing a cause or reason.
  • ため(に) is interpreted as a cause or reason in the following situations:
    • (1) When ため(に) is preceded by an adjective
      • E.g. 下手へたなためにひとわらわれた。 [Because my handwriting was bad, I was laughed at by people.]
    • (2) When the main clause describes a non-controllable situation (i.e. a situation that is not brought about through the direct agency of the subject)
      • E.g. ゆきのために学校がっこうやすみになった。[Due to snow, the school was closed.]
      • E.g. 仕事しごとのためになにもほかのことができない。[Because of my job, I can’t do anything else.]
    • (3) When the ため(に) clause is in the past tense
      • E.g. おやあまかったために子供こどもがだめになった。[Because the parents were lax, the children turned out poorly.]
  • In cases that do not fall into the above three categories (i.e when ため(に) is not in the past tense, is not preceded by an adjective, and the main clause describes a controllable situation), ため(に) indicates a purpose.
    • E.g. 会社かいしゃのためにあさからばんまではたらいている。[For the sake of the company, I work from morning to night.]
  • When ために and the main verb are separated by some phrase (i.e. ために and the main verb are not contiguous), に can be optionally dropped.
    • E.g. ジャクソンさんは研究けんきゅうのためドイツにった。[Jackson-san went to Germany for the sake of his research.]
  • When ため(に) indicates a cause or reason, it is interchangeable with から or ので. That being said, ため(に) is more formal than から and ので and is rarely used to indicate cause or reason in everyday conversation.
    • E.g. 今年ことしゆきがあまりらないために/から/のでスキーができない。[Because it didn’t snow very much this year, we can’t ski.]
    • E.g. わたしちちんだために/ので/から大学だいがくけなかった。[Because my father died, I wasn’t able to go to university.]
  • When ため(に) indicates purpose, it is sometimes interchangeable with のに (In Order To) or に (Reason / Purpose). Note that のに (In Order To) can only replace ため(に) when one does something in the direct PROCESS of achieving some goal, and に (Reason / Purpose) can only replace ため(に) when the main verb is a verb of motion.
    • E.g. 漢字かんじ調しらべるために / のに 辞書じしょ使つかう。[In order to look up kanji, I use a dictionary.] のに (In Order To) is acceptable here because the dictionary is used in the process of looking up kanji.
    • E.g. からだつよくするために毎日まいにちプールでおよいでいる。[In order to make my body stronger, I swim in the pool every day.] ため(に) can NOT be replaced by のに (In Order To) in this case because swimming is not directly involved in the process of strengthening the body

Example Sentences:

学生がくせい試験しけんのために勉強べんきょうする。[The students are studying for the sake of the test.]

わたし日本にほんのことをるため日本にほんく。[In order to learn about Japanese things, I will go to Japan.]

今年ことしゆきがあまりらないためにスキーができない。[Because it hasn’t snowed very much this year, we can’t ski.]

外国人がいこくじんのためにいい辞書じしょがない。[There are not good dictionaries for the sake of foreigners.]

日本人にほんじん会社かいしゃのためによくはたらきます。[Japanese people work a lot for the sake of their companies.]

ゆきのために学校がっこうやすみになった。[Due to snow, the school was closed.]

ジャクソンさんは研究けんきゅうのためにドイツにった。[Jackson-san went to Germany for the sake of his research.]

わたしちちんだために大学だいがくけなかった。[Because my father died, I wasn’t able to go to university.]

おやあまかったために子供こどもがだめになった。[Because the parents were lax, the children turned out poorly.]

下手へたなためにひとわらわれた。[Because my handwriting was bad, I was laughed at by people.]

フランスにったのは香水こうすいうためだ。[Going to France was for the purpose of buying perfume.]

WILD Examples:

At 2:00, listen for this line: ゆめのためにベストをつくくすわ [I’ll try my best for the sake of my dream.]
The rap line at 1:52 goes as follows: きみのためならなんでもしちゃう [If it’s for you, then I’ll do absolutely anything]

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