Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 1: 5/21


Anyhow, At any rate, In any case, I have no doubt that, Probably


どうせ + Phrase


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About どうせ

どうせ is an adverb used in Japanese to express that some particular state or condition of (A) will result in (B). Usually, there is no way to stop (B) from happening, and it is considered a natural consequence of (A). In English, this translates closely with phrases like 'at any rate', or 'in any case'.
Being an adverb, どうせ most often appears at the beginning of sentences, before going on to describe the inevitable situation.
  • どうせまたパチンコに()くんでしょ。
    In any case, you are going to the pachinko parlor, aren't you?
  • どうせ(わたし)のことなんて()きじゃないんでしょ。
    In any case, you probably don't even like me.
どうせ often carries the nuance of frustration or resignation that (A) cannot be changed. In these cases, it is often paired with other grammar structures such as なら or だから. This shows that if (A) cannot be changed, then (B) is a good idea. This usage translates similarly to 'if (A), you might as well (B)'.
  • どうせ(あたら)しいスマホを()うならもうちょっといい(やつ)()いなよ。
    If you're going to buy a new smartphone, you might as well buy something a little better.
  • どうせまた()けるんだから頑張(がんば)っても時間(じかん)体力(たいりょく)無駄(むだ)だよ。
    We're going to lose again anyway, so trying our best would be a waste of time and energy.
Fun-fact - This grammar structure comes from a combination of どう 'how', and the imperative form of する, せよ. In this way, it is just emphasizing that no matter 'how (A) is done', the result cannot be changed.


  • どう(くるま)()のなら、ヒーターシートが()いているのを()おう!

    If we are buying a car anyway, let's buy one with heated seats.

  • この試験(しけん)(むずか)しさから(かんが)えると、どう失敗(しっぱい)する()まっている。

    Judging from the difficulty of the exam, I have no doubt that my failure has been decided.

  • (わたし)どう(あやま)っても、どう(かれ)(ゆる)すつもりはないだろう。

    No matter how much I apologize, I have no doubt that he won't forgive me.

  • どう「ウドの大木(たいぼく)だ」と悪口(わるぐち)()われるのがオチだ。

    I have no doubt that it will just end with me being called 'big and useless'.

  • どうダイアモンドなんて()ってもらえない。

    I have no doubt I won't be able to get them to buy me diamonds.

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