Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 10: 7/21

ならともかく

If it's (A), sure, but (B), Putting aside (A), (B)

Structure

Details

    About ならともかく

    When なら, the hypothetical form of the auxiliary verb だ is paired with the adverb ともかく 'to set aside', it will often be translated as 'if it is (A), sure, but not in the case of (B)', or more simply 'putting (A) aside, (B)'. This structure usually just indicates that if it were (A), then the result or situation would be different, but because it is not (A), the result or situation is not different (it is as it currently is).
    なら is often classified as and functions in the same way as an adverbial particle, meaning that it will primarily be appended to the plain form of nouns, verbs, or adjectives. However, ならともかく itself is used mainly after nouns.
    • (おれ)(いもうと)ならともかく(おれ)はそんなことしねぇ〜よ。
      If it's my little sister, sure, but I would never do such a thing.
    • 丈夫(じょうぶ)何回(なんかい)使(つか)えるものならともかく、なんでわざわざ(たか)くて使(つか)()てみたいなもんを()うんですか。
      If it is tough and can be used multiple times, sure, but why would you go out of your way to buy something that is expensive and basically disposable.
    • 新人(しんじん)ならともかく(きみ)みたいなベテランがわからないようじゃ(こま)ったもんだよ。
      I understand if a newbie didn't know, but it is a problem if a long time worker like you didn't know.
    For more details about ともかく, please see the fun fact on the はともかく lesson page!

    Examples

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      (よる)ならともかく(なつ)日中(にっちゅう)(そと)()られない。

      If it's night, sure, but you can't go outside during the day in summer.

      (あか)(ぼう)ならともかく子供(こども)には(しか)(こと)必要(ひつよう)だ。

      If it's a baby, sure, but it's necessary to scold kids.

      生魚(なまざかな)ならともかく納豆(なっとう)()べられません。

      If it's raw fish, sure, but I can't eat natto.

      社長(しゃちょう)ならともかく平社員(ひらしゃいん)決定権(けっていけん)はありません。

      If it's the president, sure, but a rank-and-file staff member has no right to make decisions.

      イケメンならともかく、そうでない(ひと)はナンパで成功(せいこう)しないだろう。

      If it's a hottie, sure, but a person that isn't would surely not succeed at picking up.

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