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JLPT N2 Grammar points all in one

際(さい – sai)
a noun that refers to the occasion, moment, or opportunity when something happens or is done. It often appears in expressions related to specific occasions or circumstances.

議の際に (かいぎのさいに – kaigi no sai ni): At the time of the meeting
新年の際 (しんねんのさい – shinnen no sai): On New Year’s Day
退職の際に (たいしょくのさいに – taishoku no sai ni): Upon retirement
に際して” (にさいして – ni saishite)used to indicate the timing or occasion when something happens, similar to “on the occasion of” or “upon” in English. They are often used interchangeably but may have slightly different nuances in certain contexts.

に際して (にさいして – ni saishite):
This expression is more formal and often used in written language or formal speech.
It implies a significant or formal occasion, such as an event, ceremony, or important decision.

入学式に際して、学生たちにメッセージを送りました。(Nyūgakushiki ni saishite, gakusei-tachi ni messēji o okurimashita.) – “Upon the occasion of the entrance ceremony, I sent a message to the students.”

にあたって (にあたって – ni atatte):
This expression is slightly less formal and can be used in both written and spoken language.

転職にあたって、新しいスキルを身につけました。(Tenshoku ni atatte, atarashii sukiru o mi ni tsukemashita.) – “Upon changing jobs, I acquired new skills.”
とたん(totan ni)is used to indicate that something happens immediately or suddenly upon a certain condition or event. It implies an instantaneous change or action following a specific trigger.

Example:彼女が部屋に入るとたん、電話が鳴りました。 (Kanojo ga heya ni hairu to tan, denwa ga narimashita.)Meaning: “As soon as she entered the room, the phone rang.”
is used to express the sudden realization or occurrence of something unexpected after a preceding action or event. It indicates a swift change in situation or expectation.

かと思うと (ka to omou to):
Structure: [Clause 1 (verb (short form))] + かと思うと + [Clause 2 (result)]
Meaning: “Just when…… thought (Clause 1), …………….(unexpected Clause 2)”
Example:ドアを開けたかと思うと、猫が飛び出してきた。 (Doa o aketa ka to omou to, neko ga tobidashite kita.)Meaning: “Just when I opened the door, a cat jumped out unexpectedly.”

かと思ったら (ka to omottara):
Structure: [Clause 1 (verb (short form))] + かと思ったら + [Clause 2 (result)]
Meaning: “Just when (I/you/etc.) thought (Clause 1), (unexpected Clause 2)”
Example:明日晴れるかと思ったら、また雨が降りそうだ。 (Ashita hareru ka to omottara, mata ame ga furisou da.)Meaning: “Just when I thought it would be sunny tomorrow, it looks like it’s going to rain again.”
“〜か〜ないかのうちに”is used to indicate that something happens or occurs immediately after another action or event. Here’s an explanation of each component:

彼女が部屋に入るか入らないかのうちに、雨が降り始めた。 (Kanojo ga heya ni hairu ka hairanai ka no uchi ni, ame ga furihajimeta.) “The moment she entered the room, it started raining.”

会議が始まるか始まらないかのうちに、彼は早めに席についた。 (Kaigi ga hajimaru ka hajimaranai ka no uchi ni, kare wa hayame ni seki ni tsuita.) “He took his seat early, just as the meeting was about to begin.”
次第” (shidai)is a Japanese word that can be used in various contexts, but generally, it refers to a sequence or order of events, conditions, or circumstances. It can also indicate dependence or reliance on something else happening first.

(Kare no henji shidai de, watashitachi wa keikaku o susumeru koto ga dekimasu.)
“Depending on his response, we can proceed with the plan.”

(Densha ga kuru shidai, eki o deyou.)
“As soon as the train comes, let’s leave the station.”
“うちに” (uchi ni)is a Japanese expression that indicates an action takes place within a certain period or situation. It’s often translated as “while” or “during” in English.

(Kanojo ga rusu no uchi ni, heya o souji shita.)
“I cleaned the room while she was out.”

電車が来るうちに、チケットを買っておこう。 ~
(Densha ga kuru uchi ni, chiketto o katte okou.)
“Let’s buy the tickets before the train arrives.”

(Kodomotachi ga neshizumatta uchi ni, shizuka na yoru o tanoshimu.)
“Enjoy a quiet night while the children are asleep.”
“つつ” (tsutsu)is a versatile and somewhat formal grammatical element that expresses simultaneous or ongoing actions, often indicating a sense of continuity or progression. It’s typically used with the stem form of verbs.

(Kare wa hanasu tsutsu, tegami o kaite iru.)
“He is writing a letter while talking.”

(Kanojo wa aruki tsutsu, ongaku o kiite iru.)
“She is walking while listening to music.”

(Kare no taido wa kawaru koto naku reisei na mama de iru tsutsu, jōkyō ni tekōshite iru.)
“While maintaining a calm demeanor without change, he is adapting to the situation.”
“ようとしている” (yō to shite iru) Expresses the idea of someone attempting or trying to do something. It’s formed by combining the volitional form
“よう” (yō) of a verb with the auxiliary verb “する” (suru), followed by the progressive form “している” (shite iru) of the verb “する” (suru).

Here’s a breakdown of each part:

“よう” (yō): The volitional form of a verb, which indicates an intention or attempt to do something.
“する” (suru): The auxiliary verb meaning “to do.”
“している” (shite iru): The progressive form of the verb “する” (suru), indicating that the action is in progress or ongoing.

When combined, “ようとしている” (yō to shite iru) conveys the sense of someone actively trying or attempting to do something at the moment or in the near future.

Example: 彼は宿題をしようとしています。
(Kare wa shukudai o shiyō to shite imasu.)
“He is trying to do his homework.”
“つつある” (tsutsu aru)is a Japanese expression that denotes an ongoing process or state of change, typically towards a certain outcome. It indicates that something is gradually happening or progressing.

Example: 彼の健康状態は改善つつある。
(Kare no kenkō jōtai wa kaizen tsutsu aru.)
“His health condition is gradually improving.”

The political system of that country is in the process of changing.
Here, “変わりつつある” (kawari tsutsu aru) suggests that the political system is undergoing change or transition.

Various animals are in the process of becoming extinct due to human actions.
絶滅しつつある” (zettai shi tsutsu aru) indicates that the extinction of various animals is currently happening or progressing.

Cultures that should be preserved are in the process of being lost.
“失われつつある” (ushinaware tsutsu aru) implies that the loss of cultures that should be protected is currently underway.
ばかりだ (bakari da):Meaning: Indicates a negative trend or situation that continues or repeats.
Usage: Follows a verb stem or noun to express that something undesirable or unfavorable keeps happening.

Example: 雨ばかりだ。
(ame bakari da)
Translation: It’s been nothing but rain. (Implying continuous rainfall, which may be undesirable.)

Translation: My grandmother’s illness just keeps getting worse.
一方だ (ippou da):一方だ (ippou da):
Meaning: Indicates a trend or situation that is moving in one direction or is steadily progressing.
Usage: Often used with verbs to indicate that something is continuously or steadily happening in a particular way.

Example: 価格は上がる一方だ。
(kakaku wa agaru ippou da)
Translation: Prices are steadily rising. (Implies a continuous upward trend in prices.)

Translation: The things I have to do just keep piling up.

〜(よ)うとしている focuses on the intention or effort to do something.
〜つつある emphasizes an ongoing process or development.
〜ばかりだ highlights the continuous or repeated nature of an undesirable situation.
て以来 (te irai)Putting them together, 〜て以来 (te irai) means “since doing something” or “after doing something.”

(Nihon ni kite irai, Nihongo o benkyou shiteimasu.)
Translation: “Since coming to Japan, I have been studying Japanese.”
このかたis an expression used to refer to a period of time extending from a certain point in the past up to the present moment. It implies the duration or period since a specific event or time.

生まれてこのかた苦労したことがない” (umarete kono kata kurou shita koto ga nai),
(kono kata) means “since birth” or “up to now.” So, the sentence translates to “I have never experienced hardship since birth” or “I have not faced any difficulties up to now.”

(Gakkou wo sotsugyou shite kono kata, mainichi atarashii koto wo manandeimasu.)
“Since graduating from school, I have been learning something new every day.”

留学してこのかた、日本の文化に興味を持ち始めました。 (Ryuugaku shite kono kata, Nihon no bunka ni kyoumi wo mochi hajimemashita.) “Since studying abroad, I have begun to take an interest in Japanese culture.”
てはじめてis a Japanese grammar pattern used to express that something happens or becomes possible only after another action or event has occurred. Here are three example sentences:

(Nihongo wo benkyou shite hajimete, Nihon no bunka wo yoku rikai dekiru you ni natta.) “It wasn’t until I started studying Japanese that I was able to understand Japanese culture well.”

(Hitorigurashi wo shite hajimete, kaji no taihensa wo jikkan shita.) “It wasn’t until I started living alone that I realized how difficult household chores can be.”

(Unten menkyo wo totte hajimete, jibun de kuruma wo unten suru koto ga dekiru.) “It wasn’t until I got my driver’s license that I could drive a car by myself.”
に限り (ni kagiri):This pattern is used to indicate a limited or restricted scope or condition under which something applies or is permitted. It often follows a noun or noun phrase.

聞く限り (kiku kagiri): As far as I’ve heard.
Example: 彼の話を聞く限り、問題なさそうだね。
(Kare no hanashi o kiku kagiri, mondai nasasou da ne.)
(As far as I’ve heard from him, there doesn’t seem to be a problem.)
見た限り (mita kagiri): As far as I’ve seen.
Example: この映画を見た限りでは、面白かったです。
(Kono eiga o mita kagiri de wa, omoshirokatta desu.)
(As far as I’ve seen this movie, it was interesting.)

Example sentence: 土曜日に限り、特別価格で提供します。
(Doyoubi ni kagiri, tokubetsu kakaku de teikyou shimasu.)
“We offer it at a special price only on Saturdays.”

Koutsuu kikan no chien ni kagiri chikoku o yurushimasu.
English: “We will allow tardiness only in case of delays in transportation.”

Kaiin no okyaku-sama ni kagiri gohyaku-en hiki ni itashimasu.
English: “We offer a discount of 500 yen only to our members.”

Tori ni kagiri shiiku ga mitomerareteiru manshon da.
English: “This condominium allows bird-keeping only.”
〜限り(2)“〜限り” (〜kagiri), which means “as long as” or “as far as.” This expression indicates a condition or state that remains true or valid for a certain period of time.

〜という状態の間は: This phrase translates to “as long as” or “while.”
接続: It connects to the plain form (普通形) of a verb or adjective, followed by “限り(は)”.

Example: 日本に住んでいる限り、日本語を勉強しなければなりません。
(Nihon ni sunde iru kagiri, nihongo o benkyou shinakereba narimasen.)
(As long as you live in Japan, you must study Japanese.)

Example: 健康である限りは、何でもできると思います。
(Kenkou de aru kagiri wa, nan demo dekiru to omoimasu.)
(As long as you’re healthy, I think you can do anything.)
に限ってThis pattern is used to express that something happens or is true especially under certain conditions or circumstances ” only in the case of “. It is often used with nouns or pronouns followed by the particle は (wa).

Example: 彼は親切な人だが、雨の日に限って急に機嫌が悪くなる。
(Kare wa shinsetsu na hito da ga, ame no hi ni kagitte kyuu ni kigen ga waruku naru.)
Translation: “He’s a kind person, but especially on rainy days, he suddenly becomes moody.”

“On that particular day, I didn’t check the weather forecast.”

“Whenever I skip school, there’s always an important test.”
English: “It seems like whenever I skip school, there’s always an important test.”

“There’s no way my child would shoplift, of all things!”
“Of all the kids, mine wouldn’t ever shoplift!”
限り(は)In Japanese refers to the extent or scope of a specific condition or situation. It indicates the limit or boundary within which something applies or exists

As long as one is a parent, they should prioritize their children.

Unless he changes his attitude, I don’t feel like getting along with him.

I promise to protect you as long as my body remains healthy.
限りではfollows “限り” and indicates a premise regarding a specific condition or situation. For example, “これまでの限りでは” means “based on the situation up to now.

As far as I know, he is not the culprit.

From what I’ve seen briefly, I don’t think it’s a serious injury.

According to the morning weather forecast, it will rain tonight.
“に限る” (ni kagiru)This phrase means “nothing is better than” or “there’s nothing like.”

Example: 夏の暑い日には、冷たい水浴びが一番に限る
(Natsu no atsui hi ni wa, tsumetai mizuabai ga ichiban ni kagiru.)
There is nothing better than taking a cool shower in summer!

natsu wa tsumetai biiru ni kagiru.
In summer, nothing beats a cold beer..
refers to a wide range of things, not just specific subjects. is a Japanese expression used to indicate that something applies not only to a specific thing but also to other similar things or situations. It’s often translated as “not limited to” or “not confined to” in English

〜だけでなく: Translates to “not only… but also” or “not limited to.”

Not only Japanese people but also foreign tourists visit in large numbers.

This event is open not only to students but also to the general public.

In the art museum, not only paintings but also sculptures and pottery are exhibited.

Not only Japanese people but also foreign tourists visit in large numbers.

This event is open not only to students but also to the general public.

In the art museum, not only paintings but also sculptures and pottery are exhibited.

Not only you but also everyone thinks so.

This job is busy not only in certain seasons but all year round.

This actor is popular not only among women but also among men.
のみならずindicate that something applies not only to one thing but also to another, emphasizing the latter. Let’s break them down:


Not only can Teacher Noriko speak Japanese, but she can also speak Chinese.

He not only lied but also tried to destroy the evidence.

My girlfriend is not only beautiful but also smart.
POINT!Both “のみならず” and “に限らず” express a similar meaning of “not only… but also,” indicating that something applies to more than just one thing. However, there are some nuances in their usage

while both expressions convey a similar meaning of inclusivity, “のみならず” emphasizes the contrast between two specific elements, while “に限らず” emphasizes the broad applicability of a statement to various situations or groups.

Example: 彼はスポーツに限らず、芸術にも関心がある。
“He has an interest not only in sports but also in the arts.”

“She is not only beautiful but also has an intellectual side.”
はもとよりexpression used to emphasize that something is not just limited to a certain condition or aspect but extends to another condition or aspect as well. It is often translated as “not only… but also” or “as well as. It can have Negative and positive meanings

はもとより is formed by combining the particle は (wa), which marks the topic of the sentence, with the noun もと (moto), meaning “origin” or “basis,” followed by the particle より (yori), meaning “than” or “from.”

watashi wa kuruma wa moto yori jitensha mo nai n desu.
I don’t have a bicycle, let alone a car.

watashi ga umareta mura wa, densha wa moto yori, basu mo zenzen nai.
There are no trains, let alone buses in the village I was born in.

Translation: He is excellent not only in sports but also in academics.

Translation: This restaurant serves delicious dishes not only with meat but also with fish.

Translation: She is knowledgeable not only in art but also in music.

Translation: Let’s prevent colds not only when going out but also at home.

Translation: My mother is skilled not only in cooking but also in carpentry work.

Translation: He is popular not only in his hometown but also in his new place after moving.
POINT!~に限らず: This pattern translates to “not only ~ but also,” indicating that the statement applies to a broader scope beyond what is explicitly mentioned. It’s used with nouns.

〜のみならず: Translated as “not only ~ but also,” this pattern is more emphatic than “~に限らず” and can be used with both nouns and verbs.

はもとより: This expression means “not to mention ~,” or “as well as ~.” It emphasizes something that’s expected or obvious given the context. It’s typically used with nouns…

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