Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 1: 12/23


more or less, for the time being, tentatively・roughly


一応 + Phrase


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About 一応 ②

When used as an adverb, 一応(いちおう) can often carry the nuance of (A) not being perfect or ideal, but the minimum required in order to satisfy some requirement. This 'requirement' is frequently related to the time or amount of something. When used this way, 一応(いちおう) may be interpreted as 'more or less, (A)', 'for the time being, (A)', or 'tentatively (A)'.
  • 一応(いちおう)(わたし)店長(てんちょう)ですが、どうかなされましたか。
    I'm more or less the manager. Did something happen?
  • 今日(きょう)一応(いちおう)ここまでにしておきましょう。
    For the time being, let's call it a day for today.
  • (まわ)りの(ひと)たちが()(はじ)めたので、(ぼく)一応(いちおう)()った。
    People around me started to stand up, so tentatively, I also stood up.
This use of 一応(いちおう) is in contrast to the other common use of 一応(いちおう), which can be translated as 'just in case', or 'just to be sure'. In these cases, the speaker is usually indicating that (A) is being done in order to avoid or prevent (B). However, in both of its uses, it simply indicates that (A) is the minimum amount which is fulfilling some requirement.
  • 今夜(こんや)(さむ)くなるかも()れないから、一応(いちおう)ジャケットかなんか()ってきな。
    Why don't you take a jacket or something, just in case, since it might get cold tonight.
  • 一応(いちおう)()っておくけど(わたし)(おど)るのが下手(へた)だからね。
    Just to be sure, I want to let you know that I am not a good dancer.




    Friend2 talks to Friend1 who has fallen: 'Are you ok?'
    Friend1: 'More or less.'


    Job interview, the interviewer: 'Can you speak English, Mr. Tanaka?'
    Mr. Tanaka: 'I am more or less able to do day-to-day conversations, but I don't feel confident in using English in business.'


    Policeman: 'Hello, I have come from the police station. I would like to speak with the owner.'
    Elias: 'I am Elias, more or less the owner.'


    Doctor, about a patient: '*sighing* We were able to stabilize her condition, for the time being.'


    Friend1: 'Speaking of Tanaka, I was a bit surprised. Even though he hates studying, he can write kanji better than I thought!'
    Friend2: 'Well, no matter how much they hate studying, if they are Japanese they can write kanji. More or less.'

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一応 ② – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (3 in total)

  • s1212z


    For some of these “more or less” translations, how interchangeable is 一応 and だいたい? I’m not seeing anything exceptional except for a few phrases but BP is marking them wrong without ‘try again’ warnings. Seems 一応 is a bit more stand alone if preferred but I do see “more or less” + 'phrase’ on both entries.

  • Fuga


    Hey @s1212z !

    We apologize for the very late reply!

    How interchangeable is 一応 and だいたい? Not interchangeable at all. You could use them in place of each other, but you will be changing the nuance of the sentence greatly. 一応 has a nuance that makes the speaker seem not too confident, while だいたい does not have that nuance, and used just to state how something is ‘mostly complete’.

    For example:
    ‘Have you repaired the computer?’
    More or less. It took a while though.’ (It took some time, but I think I was able to fix it. At least I think it might be fixed, I am not very confident about it)


  • s1212z


    Thank you @Fuga for explaining and the examples, makes sense!

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