第???課: Whether it be...or...: ~といい & ~といわず

This lesson is about two very similar expressions that translate as “whether it be…or…” Though the differences between the two are subtle, understanding the finer differences between the two will be all you’ll have to worry about.


・AといいBといいC: In addition to A and B, there are other things that become C. 

At a basic understanding, the expression ~といい can be described in the above manner. Although everything else in question may not be 100% like “C,” several other related things will be implied by using this pattern. This can be used in positive and negative connotations. Typically, this expression is used primarily in the written language, but it would not be totally odd to use in the spoken language as well.

1. (かお)りといい、(あじ)といい、県内一(けんないいち)美味(おい)しさだと(おも)う。
Whether it be its fragrance or its taste, I think that it is No. 1 in deliciousness in the prefecture.

2. 日本(にほん)は、総理(そうり)をはじめ、政治家(せいじか)といい官僚(かんりょう)といいどうしようもないものばかりだ。
As for Japan, not only the Prime Minister, but also whether it be politicians or bureaucrats, it is full of just helpless individuals.

3. 吹雪(ふぶき)様子(ようす)()(もど)ってきた(おっと)は、(あたま)といい、(かた)といい、(ゆき)まみれで、まるで雪達磨(ゆきだるま)のような格好(かっこう)でした。
My husband, who returned from checking out the status of the blizzard, is covered in snow, whether it be his head or shoulders; it’s as if he’s a snowman.

4. (あたま)といい、性格(せいかく)といい、先生(せんせい)のご主人(しゅじん)素晴(すば)らしいです。
Whether it be his brains or his personality, your husband, Sensei, is a wonderful person.

5. 寿司(すし)といい、うどんといい、和食(わしょく)のなんでも()きです。
Whether it be sushi or udon, I like anything in Japanese cuisine.

Orthography Note: うどん may seldom be spelled as 饂飩.

6. 性能(せいのう)といい、デザインといい、このコーヒーメーカーが一番好(いちばんす)きです。
Whether it be its performance or its design, I like this coffee maker the best.

7. 長谷川(はせがわ)さんは、勉強(べんきょう)といい、スポーツといい、いつでもトップなのよ。(Feminine)
Hasegawa, whether it be his studies or spots,  is always at the top.

8. この(まち)は、(えき)からのアクセスといい、便利(べんり)さといい、()むにはちょうどいいところなんですね。
This town is the perfect place to live, whether it be because of its (ease of) access via

9. ()わずもがな、その部屋(へや)家具(かぐ)といい、カーテンといい、絨毯(じゅうたん)といい、素敵(すてき)すぎるもので(あふ)れていた。
It goes without saying, the room was filled with absolutely amazing things, whether it was the future, the curtains, or the carpet.

10. (かお)色艶(いろつや)といい、(こえ)()りといい、嶋村(しまむら)さん、本当(ほんとう)にお元気(げんき)になられましたね。
From your complexion to the spring in your voice, you’ve really gotten better, haven’t you, Shimamura-san?

11. 品質(ひんしつ)といい、値段(ねだん)といい、アメリカ(さん)豚肉(ぶたにく)(まさ)るものはない。
Whether it be its quality or its price, there isn’t anything that beats American pork.

12. 料理(りょうり)は、(あじ)といい(りょう)といい満足(まんぞく)でした。
The cooking, whether it be the taste or the quantity, was satisfactory.


・AといわずBといわずC: Starting with A and B (and others), they all become C.

This pattern is almost identical to ~といい. The only difference is that it indicates that “A” and “B” are C 100%. If this absolute doesn’t hold in reality, then ~といわず becomes ungrammatical and you should use ~といい instead. This may be used in positive or negative contexts. However, it is markedly more subjective than ~といい.

13. 吹雪(ふぶき)様子(ようす)()(もど)ってきた(おっと)は、(あたま)といわず、(かた)といわず、体全身(からだぜんしん)雪達磨(ゆきだるま)のようでした。
My husband, who returned from checking out the status of the blizzard, whether it was his head or his shoulders, he looked like a snowman all over.

14. 彼は入浴中(にゅうよくちゅう)といわず、就寝中(しゅうしんちゅう)といわず、片時(かたとき)もスマホを手放(てばな)さない。
Whether while bathing or sleeping, there is not even a moment he lets go over his smart phone.

15. 日本人(にほんじん)は、子供(こども)といわず大人(おとな)といわず、漫画(まんが)やライトノベルなどをよく()む。
Japanese people, whether they be children or adults, frequently read stuff like manga and light novels.

16. (わたし)はアライグマに()といわず(あし)といわず矢鱈(やたら)()まれて、病院(びょういん)(はこ)ばれました。
I was indiscriminately bitten all over, my hands, feet, etc. by a raccoon and was taken to the hospital.

17. (わたし)(かよ)っていた中学校(ちゅうがっこう)には、校長(こうちょう)といわず、教頭(きょうとう)といわず、まともに生徒(せいと)のことを(かんが)えて仕事(しごと)()()んでいる(ひと)は、ひとりもいなかった。
There wasn’t a single person at the middle school I went to, whether it was the principal or the vice principal, who got the job done by earnestly considered students.

18. (わたし)は、牛肉(ぎゅうにく)といわず、豚肉(ぶたにく)といわず、お(にく)全然食(ぜんぜんた)べません。
I, whether it be beef or pork, do not eat meat whatsoever.

19. 幸田(こうだ)さんは日本酒(にほんしゅ)といわずビールといわず、(さけ)であれば、(なん)にでも()がない。
Whether it be sake or beer, if it’s alcohol, he has a weakness for it.

20. ()といい口元(くちもと)といい服装(ふくそう)といい、本当(ほんとう)にハンサムだと(おも)わない?
Whether it be his eyes, his mouth, or his clothes, do you think he’s really handsome?

21. (かみ)といわず(ふく)といわず、とても煙草臭(たばこくさ)くなってしまい、自分(じぶん)全然吸(ぜんぜんす)わないのに、(まと)わり()いた(にお)いで気持(きも)(わる)くなることもあります。
Whether it be my hair or clothes, I end up reeking of tobacco, and even though I don’t smoke at all, the odor that follows me is often revolting.

22. 子供(こども)たちは(かお)といわず(かみ)といわず(ふく)といわず(どろ)だらけで、(しろ)()()せてにやにや(わら)っていた。
The children were covered in mud, whether it be their faces, hair, or clothes, and were snickering as they showed their white teeth.

23. {(ひる)といわず(よる)といわず・昼夜(ちゅうや)()わず}、為替相場(かわせそうば)時々刻々(じじこっこく)と{(うご)いている・()わっている}。
The exchange rate moves/changes all day and all night and at every moment.

24. ()といわず(あし)といわず、(たい)じゅう()()された。
Not just my hands and feet, but I was bitten by mosquitoes all over my body.

25. (かれ)は、(あさ)といわず、(よる)といわず、(ひま)さえあればマンガを()んでばかりいるみたいだ。
 Not just in the morning and in the evening, but he reads comics whenever he has time.