Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 4: 3/17


In one's own way, Of someone's own, Do one's best in one's own way, As much as one can


Noun + なりに
それ + なりに
[い]Adjective + なりに
[な]Adjective + なりに
Noun (A) + なり + + Noun (B)
それ + なりの + Noun


  • Register


  • 使用域


About なりに

When used as a noun, なり often presents an example group from which something exhibits traits of, regardless of whether that group is actually a good example of the trait being described. This use can be translated as 'for (A) do to (C) in the way of (B)'. Or more simply, 'to do its best in its own way', or 'to do as much as one can'. This use stems from (なり), meaning 'shape' or 'pattern', and can be thought of as meaning 'in the pattern of'.
In these sentences, (A) will be a specific example from within a group, (B) will be representative of the whole group, and (C), will be the trait or behavior in question related to (B).
Either of the case marking particles に or の will come after なり, depending on whether なり is linked directly to a noun, or is being used adverbially. なりに and なりの may follow almost any word in its plain form, with the word it follows being the group or quality that is being represented.
  • 自由(じゆう)時間(じかん)()えたら、()えたなりに有効(ゆうこう)使(つか)いたい。
    If I get more free time, I would like to use all that freetime as much as I could.
  • (ひろ)部屋(へや)(ひろ)なりのデメリットがあります。
    Large rooms have their own disadvantages.
  • (かれ)仕事(しごと)下手(へた)なりに(ほか)社員(しゃいん)のモチベーションをあげてくれたりしている。
    For all of his lack of skill, he does his best to motivate other workers.
  • 自分(じぶん)なりに頑張(がんば)ってみたが、やっぱりダメだった。
    I tried my best in my own way, but it was still not enough.
This use of なり is considered a neologism, which is a pre-existing word that has been adapted to have a new meaning or nuance. When used this way, なり will almost always express that (A) is not doing something adequately or as desired, but is doing the best it can based on the 'pattern' or 'mold' that it comes from.



  • なつみちゃん:「田舎(いなか)って本当(ほんとう)不便(ふべん)だよね」

    Natsumi: 'The countryside is really inconvenient, right?'
    Komari: 'It might be inconvenient sometimes, but it also has its own charm.'

    なり can also be used for rebuttal or putting oneself or others in better light due to the positive nuance of 'doing as much as one can'.

    • 子供(こども)いいね。(なん)にも心配(しんぱい)ごとも()いし...」

      'Children have it nice. No worries at all…'
      'But children have their own worries though.'

      Noun1(に)はNoun1 and それ + なり are common patterns. Often used with がある, 持っている and so on. The first noun can be omitted.

      • (かれ)下手(へた)なりに頑張(がんば)ってラブレターを()いた。

        For all of his lack of skill, he did the best that he could to write a love letter.

        • 会計士(かいけいし)会計士(かいけいし)なりに頑張(がんば)って(すべ)ての手段(しゅだん)()くしましたが、解決策(かいけつさく)()つけられませんでした。

          The accountants have done their best to leave no stone unturned, but they could not find a solution.

          Words like 目一杯, 精一杯, 一生懸命 and 頑張って are often used to emphasize the 'do one's best' nuance.

          • その()()わせに(たい)する(わたし)なりの回答(かいとう)をご紹介(しょうかい)いたします。」

            'I would like to present my own answer to that query.'

            なり can be used to add a humble tone to the statement and also puts emphasis on it being unique.

            • Get more example sentences!

              Premium users get access to 12 example sentences on all Grammar Points.

            Self-Study Sentences

            Study your own way!

            Add sentences and study them alongside Bunpro sentences.

            • Online

            • Offline

              There are no Offline resources listed for 「なりに」.

              You can . Resources are constantly updated, come back later to see new additions!

            • Track Resources!

              Bunpro tracks all of the resources you’ve visited, and offers relevant bookmarks of physical books to help with offline tracking.

            なりに – Grammar Discussion

              There's currently no discussion for なりに
              Ask questions and learn together with other Bunpro users!