第224課: ~によって

This lesson will be about によって and its derivatives. Context will be key to understanding it correctly.


によって comes from the verb よる. In formal and or written speech, it may be seen as により.

1. 原因・理由: A usage of the written language. It is indifferent, so it shouldn't ever be used with things that are personal. When trying to emphasize a cause/reason or purposely sound more technical, it becomes easier to use this in the spoken language.

1. 踏切での大きな衝突事故{によって・のために}、運行に20時間の遅れが出た。
    Due to a large collision accident at the railroad crossing, a 20 hour delay came out in operations.

2. このビルは大地震おおじしん{によって・で}ばらばらに破壊はかいされた。
    This building was destroyed to pieces by the big earthquake.

3. 過失による人身事故
    Traffic accident caused by a blunder

4. 大地震{による・のための}家屋倒壊は、すでに一万戸を超えているといわれる。
    They're saying that the house collapses due to the big earthquake have already passed 10,000 homes.

5. 福島原発事故による放射能環境汚染
    Radioactivity pollution in the environment caused by the Fukushima Nuclear Accident 

6. 牛インフルエンザによる死亡者が続出しています。 (This is fiction; there is no concern for alarm)
    Deaths are coming one after another due to cow flu. 

7. ストレスによって自律神経が乱れて、大腸の動きや分泌機能が過敏になることが原因で下痢をしたり便秘を
    With autonomic nerves getting upset due to stress and the the secretion and movements of the large intestine becoming over-sensitive, you have diarrhea and constipation.  

Sentence Note: Although such a sentence may sound too descriptive, the point is that によって is used a lot in such contexts.  

Grammar Note: ~による is the attribute form for this usage. 

2. 手段: It is important that this usage exists because for sentences where there is a passive subject, you can't use で. When, however, something is clearly a means or tool, で is OK. Both ~による and ~によっての are appropriate attribute forms for this usage.

8. インターネットにより世界のニュースを知る。(Very formal)
    To know the world news through the Internet.

9. インターネット{によって・で}、人間は居ながらにして、世界を概観できる。
    Through/with the internet, people can stay seated while being able to get a general view of the world.

10. 投票{によって・で}決めよう。
      Let's decide by vote. 

11.  大抵たいていの成功は不断ふだん努力どりょくによってられる。
       Most success is gained through constant efforts.

 ~によって VS ~を通じて・通して

There is some interchangeability between ~によって, ~を通じて, and ~を通して with this usage. However, the first places emphasis on the connection between the method and effect/result. The latter two place emphasis on the process. 

12. インターネット{によって・を通じて・を通して}、アルバムを販売する。
      To sell albums by/via/through the internet.

13. 選挙{〇 によって・X を通じて・X を通して]委員長になる。
      To become the committee chairman by election. 

3. 受身の動作主: ~によって can be used with the passive form of a verb to show what an action was done under. If a sentence with a receiver is passivized, the subject of the passive sentence can't be marked by に. This is one reason why ~によって is needed. ~による is the only acceptable attribute form for this usage.

14. 田中さん{〇 によって・X に}岡田さんに手紙が書かれた。
     A letter was written to Mr. Okada by Mr. Tanaka. 

15. その仕事は加藤(かとう)さんによってなされました。
      The work was done by Mr. Kato.

16. ライトアップ{によって・で}夢幻的な光景が生み出された。
      A dreamy scenery was created by/with a light-up. 

17. 松本清張による小説
     A novel by Matsumoto Seichou.

4. 根拠・拠り所: Following a rule/law/example/precedent/previous example/etc., it is used a lot to clearly show proof/basis. In this usage, ~による is the only acceptable attribute form. This should only be used when something clear is understood. It should not be used for mere hearsay. The pattern would need to be rephrased to ~によると.

18. 証言による真実
      Truth according to testimony

19. 前例{による・に基づく}判決が下されることになる。
      A judgment is to be made based on precedent. 

5. 場合・相応変化: This usage is perhaps the most common in the spoken language, and both ~による and ~によっての are correct attribute forms, although the latter is more common when spoken.  

20. 天候てんこうによっては中止もありえるでしょう。
      Depending on the weather conditions, suspension seems possible.  

21. 時と場合に{よっての・よる}対処
      Coping depending on the time and circumstance

22. お金によって、人は変わるものです。
      People change depending on money.

23. この仕事は販売数によって給料が変わります。
      As for this job, the salary changes depending on the number of sales.

24. 板前長の腕によって、寿司の味の良し悪しが左右されます。
      The good and bad of the flavor of sushi is dependent on the skill of the chef.

25. 含まれる材料によって、いろいろな味のラーメンがあります。
      There are many flavors of ramen depending on the ingredients put in it.

26. 人によって考えが違います。
      Opinions vary from person to person.

27. 挨拶言葉はその日の天気によっていろいろ言えばよい。(Somewhat formal)
      It's best to say that there are various greetings based on the weather of the day. 

28. 曜日によって授業が変わります。
      Classes change depending on the day of the week.

29. 人によって好きなものと嫌いなものは異なります。
      Depending on the person, likes and dislikes are different.

30. 「でも、すごいのよ。二階の人が歩くと、天井がみしみしって鳴るの。窓枠まどわくも木だし、風向きによってはかたかた鳴って、すきま風が入ってくるみたい。ドアなんか、かぎなんかなくても体当たりすれば開きそうよ」
“But, it’s dreadful! When the people on the second floor walk, the ceiling creaks. The window frame is wood, and depending on the wind, it clatters, and it’s like a draft is coming in. The door, it seems like it’ll open if you charge it even if there isn't a lock".
From 冷たい誘惑 by 乃南アサ.

The work was done by Mr. Kato.


  ~ず is an old negative auxiliary, and when it is paired with ~による, the resulting phrase gives a meaning of "in any situation everything/despite/regardless". 

31. 何事によらず注意が肝心(かんじん)だ。
      No matter what, attention is crucial. 

32. 誰によらず人の不始末(ふしまつ)尻拭(しりぬぐ)いなどしたくはないよ。
      No matter who it is, I don't want to reap the harvests off of other people's misconduct.


Also seen as ~によりますと in polite speech, the most common usage of this is to mean "according to". 

33. 新聞によると台風が接近中せっきんちゅうだった。
      According to the newspaper, the typhoon was approaching.   

34. (天気)予報によりますと、明日は晴れるそうです。
      According to the weather report, tomorrow will clear up.

35. ニュースによると、朝は晴れだそうだ。
      According to the news, the morning will be clear. 

36. 電灯でんとうの発明はエジソンによるとされている。
       The invention of electric light is credited to Edison.



A more direct way of saying this is ~によれば.



古事記(こじき)日本書紀(にほんしょき)記紀(きき))によれば、 伊弉諾尊(いざなぎのみこと)男神(おがみ))、伊弉冉尊(いざなみのみこと)女神(めがみ)二柱(ふたはしら)大神(おおかみ)による国生みの神話は、日本の国土誕生物語です。私たち日本人の祖先は、日本の国土は神様がお生みになり、住みやすく良い国に作りあげられたものと信じていました。ですから、日本の国土に住む日本人は、すべて神様の子としてかたく結ばれている意識が非常に強かったのです。

For the Honorable Mother

According to the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki (Kiki), the tale of the birth of our nation by the two great kami Izanagi (male kami) and Izanami (female kami), is the creation story of Japan. Our Japanese ancestors that the kami created the Japanese land to make a great and easy to live country. That is why Japanese people living in the land of Japan felt a strong and tight binding connection to the land as all being children of the kami. 

Citation Note: From かみさまのおはなし.  

Word Notes:  

1. This short excerpt is filled with Shinto cultural references. The 古事記 and the 日本書紀 are the oldest histories of Japan. The first was written in Old Japanese with 万葉仮名. The second was written a Classical Chinese style called 漢文. The spellings of the two deities come from the latter work.

2. 柱 is used here as a counter for kami.

3. 神 is itself a very interesting word. Although in Christianity it is used to refer to God. In Shintoism, it refers to kami. It is best to just leave the word in Japanese as it is such a Japanese concept.   


If you used ~によったら, then that would sound like "if it were according to", which is still possible to say. So, keep these conditional contrasts in mind. 

38. {ことによると・ことによったら}列車が停止(ていし)するかもしれません。
      Perhaps the train might halt.