Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 7: 11/17


Let alone, Much less, Needless to say, Not to mention, Not only but also


Noun (A) + おろか + Noun (B) + さえ(1)



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About はおろか

(おろ) is an expression that works similarly to はもちろん 'of course (A), but (B)' in Japanese. (おろ)か itself is a な-Adjective that means 'negligent', or 'alienation'. However, this use of (おろ)か is not seen much in modern Japanese, and the word will mainly be used in set expressions where it doesn't behave exactly as a な-Adjective usually would. Despite this, the meaning of 'alienation', or 'completely removed from' is kept in はおろか, as it simply means 'completely putting aside (A), (B)'.
Common translations include 'let alone (A), (B)', and 'it's needless to say that (A), when (B)'. (B) and (A) will usually be things that fall into the same category, where (B) is considered the far more obvious of the two. Due to this obviousness, (B) will often be immediately followed by the adverbial particle さえ. This shows that (B) is the noteworthy minimum extent.
  • (かれ)掃除(そうじ)はおろか料理(りょうり)さえできない。
    He can't even cook, let alone clean.
  • (わたし)はスーパーはおろか、コンビニさえもないど田舎(いなか)()んでいる。
    I live in a very rural area where there isn't a convenience store, let alone a supermarket.
  • (ちち)はパソコンはおろか、スマホさえも使(つか)うことができない。
    My father can't use a smartphone, let alone a computer.
Alternatively, さえ may be exchanged with other adverbial particles that fill a similar purpose such a も, すら, or まで. In most cases, (おろ) sentences tend to have a fairly negative nuance.




    'My roommate cannot even make onigiri, let alone omurice.'


    'Recently my hemorrhoids have been so painful. It even hurts to walk, much less sit.'


    Novel: Feared by friends, much less enemies, she has come to be called 'berserker'.


    It is said that although he wrote a famous action-adventure series, he has never left his hometown, let alone motherland.


    There are quite a few people who cannot tell the difference between Japanese characters and Russian characters, let alone Japanese Characters and Chinese characters.

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      はおろか – Grammar Discussion

      Most Recent Replies (2 in total)

      • wrt7MameLZE33wlmpCAV


        The description for this grammar point says:

        But the kanji used to spell おろか is 疎, not 愚. The latter kanji has the meaning “foolish.” The spelling 疎か has the meaning, “negligent, neglectful,” etc. Is this perhaps a typo?


        Actually, it looks like 疎か is in fact the right spelling, but as related above, it doesn’t mean foolish.

      • carstenosu


        Is this grammar point the only time that 疎か is pronounced this way? Wanikani has 疎か as a level 56 word but its おろそか instead of おろか.

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