Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 9: 13/20


Don’t know about it, Maybe it would or might be possible for


Most common pattern:
Noun + なら(1) + いざ()

Less common patterns:
Verb + ()+ なら(1) + いざ()
[い]Adjective + ()+ なら(1) + いざ()
Noun + であれ(2) + いざ()
Noun + + いざ()

(1) ならば(2) だったら


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About ならいざ知らず

ならいざ()らず is a grammar expression which combines the hypothetical form of the auxiliary verb だ, なら, the adverb いざ ‘now’, or ‘well then’, and the classically-negated form of the う-Verb ()る, ()らず ‘to not know’. It is often translated as ‘I don’t know about (A), but (B)’, or ‘maybe (A), but (B). This phrase is formal, and usually used to emphasize that, regardless of (A), (B) fits a specific description.
ならいざ()らず will follow verbs in their standard forms. Additionally, it may follow either な-Adjectives or nouns that have had their terminal だ replaced with なら.
  • 結婚式(けっこんしき)かなんかに出席(しゅっせき)するならいざ()らず友達(ともだち)(いえ)()くだけなんだからスーツなんて()ていかなくてもいいんじゃない?
    I don't know if you're going to a wedding or something, but since you're just going to your friend's house, you probably don't have to wear a suit.
  • 15(ふん)()ならいざ()らず、いくら友達(ともだち)でも30(ぷん)以上(いじょう)()つのは無理(むり)だ。
    It may be possible for me to wait for 15 minutes, but I won’t be able to wait more than 30 minutes, no matter how good of a friend they are.
  • 経験(けいけん)豊富(ほうふ)仕事(しごと)上手(じょうず)ならいざ()らず、まだ(はじ)めたばかりの()にこの仕事(しごと)(まか)せるのはかわいそうすぎますよ。
    I don’t know about people that have a lot of experience and are good at their jobs, but I feel bad giving such work to a person that just started.
  • 平日(へいじつ)ならいざ()らず連休(れんきゅう)(ちゅう)遊園地(ゆうえんち)などのようなところに()(ひと)(おお)いだろう。
    I don't know about weekdays, but I’m sure that there are a lot of people that go to places like amusement parks during holidays.
Just like the literal translation of ‘if it’s (A), well then I don’t know’, this structure emphasizes that (A) may or may not be the case, but (B) is definite. However, there is no direct use of ‘but’ in Japanese. This shows that the ‘but’ comes from the simple contrast of (A) being unknown while (B) is known.
ならいざ()らず may also be seen following other structures such as い-Adjectives when they have been nominalized with の.
  • (あたら)しいのならいざ()らず(まえ)のモデルはよく勝手(かって)電源(でんげん)()ちたからあまり()れなかったらしい。
    I don’t know about the new ones, but the older models didn’t sell well because they would turn off on their own.
This の pattern is also used with verbs, but it is less common than simply attaching ならいざしらず to one of the standard verb forms.
Fun Fact
In many cases, (A) is an extreme example used to show that (B) is the opposite of that, and is therefore either surprising or irritating.
  • 大昔(おおむかし)ならいざ()らず現代(げんだい)では詐欺(さぎ)についてよくテレビやインターネットで話題(わだい)になっているから、詐欺(さぎ)手口(てぐち)年々(ねんねん)進化(しんか)していってる。
    I don’t know about the past, but nowadays, scams are often talked about on TV and the internet today, so scam tactics are evolving year by year.
  • (かみ)ならいざ()らず(おれ)みたいなやつにはああいうことをする(やつ)たちを(ゆる)すことなどできない。
    I don't know about the gods, but it is very hard for a person like me to forgive people that do things like that.
Occasionally は will be used instead of なら. However, the meaning of the overall phrase will remain the same.
  • 60(ねん)(まえ)はいざ()らず(いま)では喫煙(きつえん)する(ひと)()ってきている。
    I don’t know about 60 years ago, but nowadays, there are less people that smoke.


  • (まん)(えん)社会人(しゃかいじん)ならいざ()らず小学生(しょうがくせい)にとっては想像(そうぞう)(ぜっ)する金額(きんがく)だ。

    I don't know about working adults, but for children, 10 000 yen is an unimaginable amount of money.

  • (ひゃく)(ねん)(まえ)ならいざ()らず現代(げんだい)この(くに)においては情報(じょうほう)へのアクセスは容易(ようい)になっているからそのようなことを(だれ)でも()っているはずだ。

    I don't know about 100 years ago, but in modern times, since access to information is widespread in this country, everybody should know something like that.

    Contrasting the past and present is extremely common with いざ知らず

  • 運動(うんどう)不健康(ふけんこう)だからしない」と最近(さいきん)よく()。プロのスポーツ選手(せんしゅ)ならいざ()らず一般(いっぱん)(ひと)ならば、運動(うんどう)有益(ゆうえき)ある

    Recently, I often hear that 'exercising is unhealthy, so I don't do it'. I don't know about professional athletes, but for ordinary people exercising is beneficial.

  • A:「子供(こども)(ころ)ここでザリガニを()ったものだ。」

    'When I was a child, I used to catch crayfish here.'
    'I don't know about how it was in the past, but nowadays the river is polluted, so it's impossible.'

  • 自分(じぶん)一人(ひとり)衣装(いしょう)()(たの)ならいざ()らず人前(ひとまえ)にコスプレ姿(すがた)()のは(わたし)にとっては不可能(ふかのう)(ちか)です。」

    'It might be possible to wear the costume by myself for fun, but when it comes to going out in public dressed in cosplay, then it's nigh on impossible!

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