Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 6: 4/24


In other words, That is, Namely


すなわち + Phrase


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About 即ち

In a similar way to つまり, (すなわ) is another grammar pattern in Japanese that is often translated as 'in other words'. It may also be translated as 'namely', or 'that is to say'. While (すなわ) is an adverb, it is often used as a conjunction, linking two sentences via some sort of reasoning.
  • この(ひと)(わたし)(つま)(かあ)さんですすなわち義理(ぎり)(はは)です
    This person is my wife's mother. In other words, my mother in law.
  • (わたし)はゲームしてお(かね)(かせ)でいますすなわち、プロゲーマーです
    I get paid for playing video games. In other words, I am a professional gamer.
The kanji used in (すなわ) simply means 'in concordance'. This shows that the nuance associated with (すなわ) is that of 'agreeance' or 'correspondence' to something else, while つまり is purely that of 'summarisation'.
  • この(くるま)もう(うご)かないですすなわち廃車(はいしゃ)です
    This car does not run anymore. In other words, it is a decommissioned car.
  • (かれ)(ぼく)(ちち)(おとうと)ですつまり叔父(おじ)です
    He is my father's brother. In other words, he is my uncle.


  • (かれ)(わたし)(はは)(おとうと)息子(むすこ)すなわち従兄弟(いとこ)です。

    He is my mother's brother's son. In other words, he is my cousin.

  • 5割引(わりび)きの商品(しょうひん)とは、すなわち(もと)値段(ねだん)半額(はんがく)ということだ。

    A product that is 50% off is, in other words, half off.

    1割 = 10%.

  • (わたし)将来(しょうらい)子供(こども)たちに物事(ものごと)(おし)える職業(しょくぎょう)()きたいです。すなわち学校(がっこう)先生(せんせい)になりたいのです。

    In the future, I'd like to take up the profession of teaching various things to kids. Namely, I'd like to become a school teacher.

  • 日本(にほん)議会(ぎかい)二院制(にいんせい)すなわち衆議院(しゅうぎいん)参議院(さんぎいん)です。

    The Diet in Japan consists of two Houses, namely the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors.

  • 彼女(かのじょ)(わたし)(おとうと)(つま)すなわち義理(ぎり)(いもうと)です。

    She is my brother's wife, that is, my sister in law.

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即ち – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (3 in total)

  • mrthuvi


    Is there a difference between 言わば and すなわち?

  • mrnoone


    Hey and long time no see!

    Very good question!
    They are quite similar, but if we look from a wider perspective 言わば is used to explain something by comparison or giving example. It is an actually conditional form of classic “to say” so it literally means “If I were to say…”. You can also think about it as an analog to English “speaking figuratively”. Often some metaphors follow It is very close to 例えば.

    即ち is simple rephrasing, “in other words”. It is closer to つまり and 要するに.

    She is my best friend if I were to say we are (like) sisters.

    (Explaining to a friend who Son Goku from dragon ball is, by comparing him to Superman)
    If I were to say Son Goku is like Japanese Superman.

    (言わば is fairly formal expres...

  • testing


    I’m a bit confused what that “Caution” block is trying to tell me. It says

    and then, to show the difference it gives me

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