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やはり / けっきょく / さすが / まさか

やはり / けっきょく / さすが / まさか

やはり / けっきょく / さすが / まさか Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Adverb

Essential Meaning: As expected / Still / After all

Construction: Adverb

Notes:

  • やはり expresses that an event or situation conforms to some standard that the speaker possesses (based on comparison with the past, comparison with others, or comparison with common sense, depending on the context). Note that やはりconveys the speaker’s personal, subjective standard rather than some set standard.
    • E.g. 雪子ゆきこさんはいまでもやはりきれいです[Yukiko is still pretty.] In this example, Yukiko’s past beauty is being used as the standard of comparison for her present beauty. やはり implies that her current beauty is up to the standard (i.e. Yukiko is equally as beautiful as she was in the past).
    • E.g. にいさんはテニスが上手じょうずですが、おとうとさんもやはり上手じょうずですよ。[The older brother is good at tennis, and the younger brother is unsurprisingly good too.] In this sentence, the younger brother’s tennis skills are being compared to the standard that the older brother has set. The implication of やはり is that the young brother meets this standard.
    • E.g. やはり日本にほんのビールはおいしいですね。[As expected, Japanese beer is delicious, isn’t it?] In this example, the speaker has an expectation that Japanese beer is delicious. やはり implies that Japanese beer does in fact meet this idealized standard.
  • Like other adverbs, やはり can be positioned flexibly within a sentence. The nuance is that sentence-initial やはり sounds most emphatic, and sentence-final やはり sounds like an afterthought.
    • E.g. やはりベイリーさんはなかったね。[As expected, Ms. Bailey didn’t come, right?]
    • E.g. ベイリーさんはやはりなかったね。[Ms. Bailey, as expected, didn’t come, right?]
    • E.g. ベイリーさんはなかったね、やはり。[Ms. Bailey didn’t come, right?…As expected.]
  • やっぱり is a more emotive and emphatic version of やはり (due to the emotive nature of glottal stops in Japanese).
    • E.g. やっぱり日本にほんのビールはおいしいですね。[As expected, Japanese beer is delicious, isn’t it?] This sentence is emphatic due to やっぱり. The speaker apparently really likes Japanese beer.
  • さすが is another conversational adverb that is very similar to やはり. The difference is that さすが only means “As expected” and doesn’t have the additional nuances that やはり has (e.g. “Still” or “Also“). Thus さすが can only replace やはり when やはり expresses the concept of “As expected“.
    • E.g. やはり日本にほんのビールはおいしいですね。[As expected, Japanese beer is delicious, isn’t it?]
    • E.g. さすがに日本にほんのビールはおいしいですね。[As expected, Japanese beer is delicious, isn’t it?]
  • けっきょく is another similar adverb that means “After all“. けっきょく can replace やはり only when やはり possessed the nuance of “After all“. けっきょく is marginally more formal than やはり because けっきょく is a Sino-Japanese word.
    • E.g. 色々いろいろくすりんだがやはりなおらなかった。[I took various medications, but after all I was not cured.]
    • E.g. 色々いろいろくすりんだがけっきょくなおらなかった。[I took various medications, but after all I was not cured.]
    • E.g. やはりかないことにした。[After all, I decided not to go.]
    • E.g. けっきょくかないことにした。[After all, I decided not to go.]
  • まさか is another similar adverb that means “By no means“, “Surely not“, or “No way!” and expresses a situation that is far from the speaker’s expectations. Thus, it has the opposite meaning of やはり. まさか can be used by itself or with a negative predicate.
    • E.g. まさか大川おおがわさんが先生せんせいになるとはおもわなかった。[By no means did I think that Ogawa-san would become a teacher.] In this example, the speaker did not expect that Ogawa-san would become a teacher, so the fact that Ogawa-san DID become a teacher is far from the speaker’s expectations.
    • E.g. A: トムが入院にゅういんしたそうだ。B: まさか!昨日きのうテニスをしていたよ。[A: I heard that Tom has been hospitalized. B: No way! He was playing tennis yesterday.] In this example, Speaker B assumes that Tom is healthy because Tom was active and healthy yesterday. So the fact that Tom has been hospitalized is totally unexpected to Speaker B.

Example Sentences:

ベイリーさんはやはりなかったね。[Ms. Bailey, as expected, didn’t come, right?]

雪子ゆきこさんはいまでもやはりきれいです。[Yukiko is still pretty.]

にいさんはテニスが上手じょうずですが、おとうとさんもやっぱり上手じょうずですよ。[The older brother is good at tennis, and the younger brother is unsurprisingly good too.]

やはり日本にほんのビールはおいしいですね。[As expected, Japanese beer is delicious, isn’t it?]

ぼくはやはり結婚けっこんすることにしました。[After all, I decided to get married.]

WILD Examples:

Listen to this line at 1:39: 火曜日かようび火曜日かようび、なしをふたべました、それでもやっぱりなかはペコペコ [On Tuesday, On Tuesday, he ate two pairs. But even so, as expected, he was still peckish.]
Listen to this line at 0:49: リアクション三倍さんばいでできるおんなのさ-し-す-せ-そ:「さすが!」らなかった!」「すごい!」「センスいいですね!」「そうなんだ!」[The Sa-Shi-Su-Se-So for the competent woman to get three times the reaction: “As expected!” “I didn’t know that!” “Wow!” “You have nice taste!” “Is that so!”] This is a humorous song about female flirtation strategies on Japanese group dates.
This song begins as follows: まさかおもっているのでしょうが、じつじつわたくし透明とうめい人間にんげんなのです [You may think “No way!”, but the truth is, I’m an invisible person!]
Listen to this line from 2:17: Chasing after 100てん満点まんてん全部ぜんぶけっきょくなんのため?[Chasing after 100%, full marks, in the end what was the point of all of it?]
This song begins with the following line: ˙人混ひとごみにまぎれるとなおさらなみだがでるから、やっぱり一人ひとりになろうとした [Because I get even more sad when I’m mixed in with a crowd, I have sure enough decided to be alone]

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