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?


  • (わたし)()わりにこの問題(もんだい)()いてください。

    Please solve this question instead of me.

  • バナナが(きら)()べれないからビタミンが()れない。バナナ()わりに(なに)()べたらいい

    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?

  • (かれ)遅刻(ちこく)をしてしまったので、(かれ)()わりに発表(はっぴょう)した。

    Since he was late, I presented instead of him.

  • 先生(せんせい)風邪(かぜ)をひいて(やす)んだので、()わりに校長(こうちょう)先生(せんせい)授業(じゅぎょう)をした。

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

  • コーヒー()わりに紅茶(こうちゃ)では駄目(だめ)ですか?

    Is tea in place of coffee not good enough?

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代わりに – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (4 in total)

  • mrnoone


    About 4 years ago

    Hey and sorry for the late answer!

    For the second sentence you use 食べれない instead of 食べられない. Do you use the deformed version intentionally in specific sentences or do you just happen to use it because that’s what you use a lot yourself? I feel like I’m going to form bad habits by seeing the deformed versions this much.

    We are trying to use various forms in order to reinforce them in users

    Also, based on the first reading, this can be used by adjectives as well. Can you add that to the structure?


    今日は仕事へ車で行く 代わりに自転車で行った。

    Shouldn’t it be 行く代わりに without the の?

  • conan


    About 1 year ago

    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


    About 11 months ago

    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.

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