Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 3: 6/22


Simply because, Only because, Just because, Simply on account of

ばっかり, ばっか, ばかし, and ばっかし are all fairly common casual variations of ばかり


Verb[た]+ ばかりに
[い]Adjective + ばかりに
[な]Adjective + (1) + ばかりに
Noun + (1) + ばかりに

(1) である


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About ばかりに

When paired with the case marking particle , ばかり regularly conveys the meaning of 'simply because', or 'just because'. Literally, this expression means that 'even with just (A), (B) is/was able to occur'. This phrase is regularly paired with the past form of verbs, indicating that something that has already taken place, led to some other result.
To use ばかりに, simply attach the expression to the end of any word in its attributive form.
  • ボールキャッチしたばかりに(かた)(はず)れました。
    Simply because I caught a ball, I dislocated my shoulders.
  • (からだ)(ちい)さいばかりに、クラスメイトいじめられた。
    Simply because I am small, my classmates bullied me.
  • (かれ)練習(れんしゅう)大変(たいへん)ばかりに部活(ぶかつ)やめることにした。
    Simply because practice was difficult, he decided to quit.
  • 新人(しんじん)であるばかりに先輩(せんぱい)たちやりくない仕事(しごと)()()けられた。
    Simply because I am new, my senpai made me do all the work they didn't want to.
It should be noted that this particular grammar pattern has a strong tendency to be used with results that are negative. However, this is not a requirement. A high level of eagerness/enthusiasm can also be expressed when paired with grammar points like たい, or ほしい.
  • ()()たいばかりに仕事(しごと)(やす)んで(うみ)()った
    Simply because he wanted to go fish, he took a day off of work and went to the ocean.
  • (あたら)しい(こと)()しいばかりに貯金(ちょきん)全部(ぜんぶ)使(つか)った。
    Just because I wanted a new car, I used all my savings.
Fun Fact
As we mention in our ばかり grammar point, one of the more common kanji that ばかり stems from is '許', which means to be 'let off' or 'let through'. It implies a minimum amount of something that is then deemed as 'permissible'. This nuance is kept in ばかりに, as the (A) part of the sentence is being highlighted as that minimum extent of something for which the (often surprising) result of (B) is/was possible. Due to this, translations such as 'even with only/just (A), (B)' are quite similar to ばかりに, so long as it is clear that (A) is surprising.
  • (もら)った(にく)()べたばかりに、お(なか)(こわ)てしまった。
    Even just with eating the meat that was given to me, I got a stomach ache.
Fun Fact
The kanji that is used most frequently for ばかり is the same kanji that is used for (ゆる)す 'to forgive'. In this particular use of 許, it still means 'to let off', or 'to let through', as 'to forgive' quite often has the nuance of letting something through/pass/slide.
  • 今回(こんかい)(ゆる)けどまたやったら(ゆる)さないからね。
    I will forgive you this time, but I will not forgive you if you do it again.


  • 財布(さいふ)(わす)れたばかりに弁当(べんとう)()えなかった。

    Simply because I have forgotten my wallet, I couldn't buy a bento.

  • 病院(びょういん)()かなくてはいけなかったばかりに試合(しあい)参加(さんか)できなかった。

    Simply because I had to go to the hospital, I couldn't participate in the game.

  • おとなしそう()えた(いぬ)(あたま)()でたばかりに()まれたんだ。まだ()(いた)

    Just because I patted the head of a docile looking dog, I got bit. It still hurts.

  • (わたし)があんなことを()ってしまったばかりに(かれ)はひどく()()んでしまいました。

    Just because I said those things to him, he got extremely depressed.

  • タコマナローズ(はし)(つよ)(かぜ)だったばかりに崩壊(ほうかい)した。

    Just because of strong winds the Tacoma Narrows Bridge has crumbled.

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ばかりに – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (5 in total)

  • vn888


    Does this grammar only use with verb[た]? I’ve seen in question this combined with verb[ない].

  • dokidokiwakuwaku


    Does this grammar point require に? I think I have seen ばかりで used on some occasions.

  • Triscuit1113


    “Noun + な(1) + ばかりに

    Is this a typo? I don’t recall ever using a noun + な in any other grammar. I also don’t see it used in any of the example sentences. の would be correct, right? 例えば、「田中さんの引退のばかりに、仕事場での友達は全然いなくなりませんでした。」ほかのありそうな間違いを除いて、これはわりと正解でしょうか?

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