Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 10: 15/20


Instead of, In place of, In exchange for


Verb + ()わりに
[い]Adjective + ()わりに
[な]Adjective + + ()わりに
Noun + + ()わりに


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About 代わりに

()わり 'a substitute' is a noun that is used to convey when (B) is acting as a replacement or substitute for (A). The case marking particle will come after ()わり, before a (B) statement will highlight who the replacement is, and possibly what they are doing.
As ()わり is a noun, it may be used after the attributive form of any word.
  • (おれ)社長(しゃちょう)電話(でんわ)する()わりに、お(まえ)はお(きゃく)さん電話(でんわ)しておいて。
    In exchange for me calling the boss, can you call the client in advance?
  • あのプールは(ふる)()わりに(やす)い。
    That pool is cheap, to substitute for it being old.
  • 仕事(しごと)大変(たいへん)()わりに(たの)しい。
    Work is fun, in exchange for it being difficult.
  • (わたし)()わりにやってください
    Can you do it in my place?
Occasionally, ()わり 'to exchange' may be used instead of ()わり 'to substitute'. However, within the context of this particular grammar structure, there is little to no change in nuance.
Fun Fact
()わりに is often used at the beginning of sentences, simply to express a more preferable option for something. In these cases, it comes across as 'rather than that, (A)', or 'instead, (A)'.
  • ()わりに()てくれない
    As a replacement, can you go for me?
  • ()わりにこれ()って()って。
    Instead of that, can you go take this?




    Please solve this question instead of me.


    I don't like bananas so I don't eat them and can't get those vitamins.
    What should I eat in place of a banana?


    Since he was late, I presented instead of him.


    Because the teacher caught a cold and took the day off, the principal taught the class in his place.


    Is tea in place of coffee not good enough?

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代わりに – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (5 in total)

  • conan


    DIJG also covers this as “to make up for”, as in: 昼間遊ぶ代わりに夜勉強するつもりだ。“I am going to enjoy myself in the daytime, so/but (to make up for it) I will study at night.”

    Will this nuance be added?

  • testing


    What does that mean? How is it fun “in exchange” for it being difficult?

    I’ve been puzzling with a native English speaker (who’s also learning Japanese) over this, and while we can come up with “Work is difficult but fun.”, it doesn’t sound like that would need a 代わりに in Japanese, so we’re a bit stumped.

  • Sammouse


    Upon reading the other resources it seems that 代わりに has the nuance of “to make up for”, which fits the translation much better. The translation bunpro provided confused me in the same way and this is how I was able to rationalise it

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