Japanese Grammar Bank

HOW TO SAY EVEN THOUGH IN JAPANESE

Today, we’ll be looking at how to express even though in Japanese.

We have already covered grammar points for various levels, so make sure to check out our Japanese Grammar Bank when you’re done with this lesson.

EVEN THOUGH IN JAPANESE WITH のに

のに noni

のに means something close to “despite” or “even though” in English.

This is used very often and is something you’ll encounter endlessly in Japan. It’s used in a sentence as below:

PATTERN

Casual Verb + のに

Noun + な + のに

な na-adjective + な + のに

い i-adjective + のに

JAPANESEROMAJIENGLISH
雨が降っているのに、出かけなければならない。Ame ga futte iru noni, dekakenakereba naranai.Even though it’s raining, I have to go out.
忙しいのに、手伝ってくれた。Isogashii noni, tetsudatte kureta.Even though he’s busy, he helped me
View More Examples:
japaneseromajienglish
寒いのに、外に出かけました。Samui noni, soto ni dekakemashita.Even though it’s cold, I went outside.
高いのに、そのレストランの料理は美味しい。Takai noni, sono resutoran no ryouri wa oishii.Even though it’s expensive, the restaurant’s food is delicious.
遠いのに、友達を訪ねに行った。Tooi noni, tomodachi o tazune ni itta.Even though it’s far, I went to visit my friend.
年配なのに、テクノロジーに詳しい。Toshiroi noni, tekunorojii ni kuwashii.Even though he’s older, he’s knowledgeable about technology.
疲れているのに、仕事を続けた。Tsukarete iru noni, shigoto o tsuzuketa.Even though I’m tired, I continued working.
遅刻したのに、謝罪しました。Chikoku shita noni, shazai shimashita.Even though I was late, I apologized.

EVEN THOUGH IN JAPANESE WITH ながら

ながら nagara

This is a grammar point used for expressing simultaneous actions.

However, it can be used to express “even though” in certain situations where the two actions contradict each other.

When adding this to a verb, you should use the polite form of verbs and add ながら instead of ます.

PATTERN

Verb + ながら (+も)

You can also use the continuous tense, but take off the る at the end (e.g., 言っていながら itte i nagara While I was talking). For nouns and adjectives, you can just add it immediately after. 

NOTE || も mo is sometimes added after ながら.

ながら can be used in formal settings to add humbleness to a statement. It kind of means “even though” in these situations. 

Take a look at the examples to get more a feel for this point:

JAPANESEROMAJIENGLISH
雨が降っていながら、出かけなければならない。Ame ga futte i nagara, dekakenakereba naranai.Even though it’s raining, I have to go out.
忙しいながら、手伝ってくれた。Isogashii nagara, tetsudatte kureta.Even though he’s busy, he helped me.
View More Examples:
寒いながら、外に出かけました。Samui nagara, soto ni dekakemashita.Even though it’s cold, I went outside.
高いながら、そのレストランの料理は美味しい。Takai nagara, sono resutoran no ryouri wa oishii.Even though it’s expensive, the restaurant’s food is delicious.
遠いながら、友達を訪ねに行った。Tooi nagara, tomodachi o tazune ni itta.Even though it’s far, I went to visit my friend.
年配ながら、テクノロジーに詳しい。Toshiroi nagara, tekunorojii ni kuwashii.Even though he’s older, he’s knowledgeable about technology.
疲れていながら、仕事を続けた。Tsukarete i nagara, shigoto o tsuzuketa.Even though I’m tired, I continued working.
遅刻したながら、謝罪しました。Chikoku shita nagara, shazai shimashita.Even though I was late, I apologized.
忙しいながら、時間を見つけて読書をしています。Isogashii nagara, jikan o mitsukete dokusho o shiteimasu.Even though I’m busy, I find time to read.
遠慮ながら、ご案内いたします。Enryona gara, goannai itashimasu.Even though you might have reservations, I will guide you.
(Please allow me to guide you.)
申し訳ながら、今回はお断りさせていただきます。Moushiwakenagara, konkai wa o-kotowari sasete itadakimasu.Even though we are sorry, we have to decline this time.
(With all due apologies, we must decline this time.)

SUMMARY

Here is a summary of what we studied in this lesson about even though in Japanese:

  • のに is the most commonly used way to express “even though” in Japanese.
  • ながら can also be used to express “even though”.
  • ながら is sometimes used in formal situations to express humbleness.

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FAQs

How do you say even though in Japanese?
How to say but in Japanese?

The most common way to express “but” in Japanese is with the word demo でも.

英語は簡単です。でも、日本語は難しいです。

Eigo wa kantan desu. Demo, Nihongo wa muzukashii desu.

English is easy, but Japanese is difficult.

Another way to say but in Japanese is けど (kedo), which is a conjunction used to connect two clauses.

天気が悪かったけど、楽しい旅行でした。

Tenki ga warukatta kedo, tanoshii ryokou deshita.

The weather was bad, but it was a fun trip.

How to say if in Japanese?
How to say however in Japanese?

しかし (shikashi) is a formal way to express “however” in Japanese.

This expression is typically used in writing or formal speech and can be used to contrast two opposing ideas. It shifts the sentence in a negative way. 

この地方は自然が豊かです。しかし、地震が多いです。

Kono chihou wa shizen ga yutaka desu. Shikashi, jishin ga ooi desu.

This region is abundant in nature, but there are many earthquakes.

それでも (soredemo) can be used in the same way as you would use “nevertheless” or “even so” in English.

It can be used to show the contrast between two ideas. It’s slightly different to しかし in that it acknowledges the first statement, and then offers up something new.

It shifts to a more positive light whereas しかし shifts to a negative light.

彼女は忙しいです。それでも、私たちはデートを楽しめました。

Kanojo wa isogashii desu. Soredemo, watashitachi wa deeto o tanoshimemashita.

She is busy, but nevertheless, we were able to enjoy our date.

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