Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 9: 15/23

(なに)より

Be glad, Be relieved, Most, Best, Above all else, More than anything

Structure

(なに)より + ()+ Phrase
(なに)より + + Noun

Details

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    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About 何より

(なに)より, or (なに)よりも when emphasized, is a common phrase in Japanese that is used when one wants to express that they are 'glad', 'relieved', or that '(A) is more important than anything'. As this structure is simply a combination of the substitute noun (なに) 'what', or 'whatever', and the particle より 'than', the closest literal translation is 'more than anything, (A)'. (なに)より is primarily used to express positive feelings when the actual situation may have been worse, but (A) is the most important.
(なに)より, and (なに)よりも most often behave adverbially, meaning that they can be used at the beginning of a sentence, or right before the word they are describing. However, they occasionally come directly before a noun when followed by の.
  • (なに)より(おどろ)いたのは、あの中田(なかた)くんが医者(いしゃ)になったことだ。
    The most surprising thing is that Nakata-kun became a doctor.
  • 田中(たなか)(さま)のお(やく)()てて(なに)よりです。
    We are glad to be of service to you, Tanaka-sama.
  • (なに)よりも大切(たいせつ)なのは、(なん)でも(あきら)めずに頑張(がんば)ってやることだ。
    The most important thing is to not give up and to do your best in anything you do.
  • (やす)みの()(つま)とドライブに()くのが(なに)より(たの)しみです。
    I love going on drives with my wife on weekends more than anything.
As in most cases, も just strengthens the phrase slightly, with no other significant change in nuance.

Examples

--:--

  • (ひさ)しぶり挨拶(あいさつ)する(とき):「元気(げんき)そう(なに)よりです。」

    When greeting someone we haven't seen for a long time: 'I am really glad that you seem to be doing well.'

    お元気で何よりです is another popular variant of this expression which literally means 'it is above all else that you seem healthy'.

    • 記事(きじ):「両親(りょうしん)にとって自分(じぶん)子供(こども)健康(けんこう)(なに)より大切(たいせつ)です。」

      Article: 'For parents, there is nothing more important than the health of their children.'

      何より is often used with expressions like 大切、大事, 素晴らしい, 好き, 嫌い, etc.

      • らくさん:「あなたにもらった(ほん)、わたしの息子(むすこ)とても()()っています。」
        おのでらさん:「それ(なに)よりです。」

        Raku: 'My son loved the book he received from you.'
        Onodera: 'I am really glad.'

        It is very common to use 何より with それは.

        • ありがとうございます。」
          「お(やく)()てれば、(なに)より(しあわ)です。」

          'Thank you very much.'
          'More than anything I am happy if I am able to help.'

          何より can be used to express humility or when speaking to superiors.

          • ()つけた(とき)、すべて折半(せっぱん)。」
            「どっちにしろ、そのためには、(なに)よりまず()つけないと(はなし)にならん。」

            'When we find it, we split everything equally.'
            'Either way, for that, above all else, if we can't find it first, we won't get anywhere.'

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