Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 6: 9/17


Or, Either or


Verb[る](A) + なり + Verb[る](B) + なり + する
Noun (A) + (Particle(1))+ なり + Noun (B) + (Particle(1))+ なり
Noun (A) + なり + Noun (B) + なり + (Particle(1)
Verb[る]+ なり + WH-Word + (Particle)+ なり + する
Noun + (Particle(1))+ なり + WH-Word + (Particle(1))+ なり

(1) Particles and cannot be used in this case


  • Register


  • 使用域


About ~なり~なり

When the classical adverbial particle なり is used in lists, it expresses that each item within that list is a possibility, but that one particular thing will be or needs to be chosen. This use of なり will indicate that either (A) or (B) is fine, but anything else that falls within that same category is probably fine too. Due to this, it is non-exhaustive.
なり is a fairly polite construction and will appear after either verbs in their dictionary forms, or nouns that may or may not be followed by another particle. This is in cases where that particle is giving important information involved in the 'choice'. An example of this would be に for marking a location.
  • もうちょっと待機(たいき)しないといけなさそうだから、タバコを()なり弁当(べんとう)()べるなりして()ってな。準備(じゅんび)ができたら()ぶからゆっくりしてな。
    It seems like we have to wait a little longer, so why don't you go smoke some cigarettes or eat your lunch and wait. Once everything is ready, I'll let you know so take your time.
  • どうぞ()()ってください。いらないなら()なり()てるなりしてもらっても結構(けっこう)ですので。
    Please take this. If you don't want it you can sell it or throw it away.
  • (おく)れるなら電話(でんわ)なりメールなりするのが社会人(しゃかいじん)としての常識(じょうしき)じゃないのか?!
    Isn't it common sense as a member of society to call or text if you are going to be late?!
  • なんでお(まえ)はいつもそう一人(ひとり)でなんでも解決(かいけつ)しようとするんだ?(おれ)になり高橋(たかはし)になり相談(そうだん)してくれればいいのに!
    Why do you always try to solve everything on your own? You should come talk to me or Takahashi!
As with all adverbial particles, なり cannot follow either が or を.
This emphasis on (A) なり (B) なり presenting lists from which something will be chosen is what differentiates it from similar structures such as など and や. Due to this, なり will not be used to mean 'such as', but only for 'either, or' statements.


  • 小説(しょうせつ)勇者(ゆうしゃ)魔王(まおう):「仲間(なかま)だけ()()さないでください。(おれ)()なり()なり()していい!」

    A novel, Hero to Demon King: 'Please don't lay a hand on my friends! Instead, you can do whatever you like to me!' (Literally - Boil me or grill me)

    An idiomatic expression meaning 'to handle (something) however someone likes.' Literally 'boiled or grilled'. Often used as 煮るなり焼くなり好きにする. It can be also used more literally like この魚は煮るなり焼くなりして食べてください, but this is not as common.

  • (おこ)った(おや)子供(こども)に:部屋(へや)漫画(まんが)(ぼん)だらけにしないで!()まないものは()なり()てるなりして(かた)づけなさい!」

    Angry parent to a child: 'Don't scatter the manga all over the room! Either sell or throw away the things you don't read!

  • 父親(ちちおや)(むすめ)に:孤独(こどく)(かん)ていたのなら、(おれ)なり(かあ)さんなり電話(でんわ)くれればよかったのに。」

    Father to daughter: 'If you were feeling lonely, you should have called me or mom…'

    While なり~なり is not generally used with the predicate in the past tense, ばよかった is an exception.

  • 友達(ともだち)にアドバイスする(だま)ってばかりいないで喧嘩(けんか)するなり文句(もんく)()なりしてみたら?」

    Giving advice to a friend: 'Don't be quiet all the time! Why don't you try to argue or complain?'

  • 怪我(けが)をしている友達(ともだち)にアドバイスする「ケガをしてるよ!絆創膏(ばんそうこう)()なり包帯(ほうたい)()なりした(ほう)いいんじゃないかな!」

    Giving advice to and injured friend: 'You are injured! I think you'd better put a band-aid on or bandage it.'

  • Get more example sentences!

    Premium users get access to 12 example sentences on all Grammar Points.

Self-Study Sentences

Study your own way!

Add sentences and study them alongside Bunpro sentences.

  • Online

  • Offline

    • Try N1

      Page 42

    • Shin Kanzen Master N1 Bunpou

      Page 20

    • Sou Matome Bunpou N1

      Page 30

    • A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar

      Page 223

  • Track Resources!

    Bunpro tracks all of the resources you’ve visited, and offers relevant bookmarks of physical books to help with offline tracking.

~なり~なり – Grammar Discussion

    There's currently no discussion for ~なり~なり
    Ask questions and learn together with other Bunpro users!