第137課: ~ために I: In order to...

The purpose-marker に attaches to a handful of nouns, creating several important grammar patterns. This is very much the case when it follows the noun 為, which means “objective/benefit” or “result.” Although most typically seen paired with the particle に, 為 can still be used like any other noun with these meanings as demonstrated below.

1. あなた(ため)(おも)って()うのよ!
I’m saying this for your own good!

2. 世界(せかい)(ため)なら犠牲(ぎせい)仕方(しかた)ない。
If they’re for the sake of the world, sacrifices can’t be helped.

3. 子供(こども)(ため)(おも)って()っているつもりが、(ぎゃく)にストレスを(あた)えているかもしれません。
Your intentions of saying that for your child’s benefit may in fact be conversely stressing out your child.

4. 部下ぶか沈黙ちんもく上司じょうしのためにならないし、組織そしきにとってもその上司のキャリアにとってもプラスにはならない。
Silence from subordinates is not for the benefit of the boss, nor will it be a plus for the organization or for that boss’ career.

5. (なさ)けは(ひと)(ため)ならず。
Compassion is not for other people’s benefit.

Grammar Note: ならず is the Classical Japanese equivalent of ではない and is commonly seen in proverbs such as Ex. 5. 

When the purpose-marker に follows ため, it is used to express an objective/goal to realize something by one’s utmost effort. In doing so, it is often translated as “for” or “(in order) to” as we will soon see. Aside from showing purpose, in concurrence with its second definition, ため may also be used to show cause. This lesson will focus solely on the first meaning, and in the next lesson we'll focus on the second meaning.

Orthography Note: It’s important to note that 為 is typically written as ため , which is how it will be spelled for the remainder of this lesson. Nonetheless, 為 is still a common spelling. Often, it is the writer’s style or the medium that dictates which spelling is used.

Marking an Objective

The primary purpose of ~ために is to express purpose. In doing so, ~ために must be used with verbs of volition. This does not mean that it is limited to transitive verbs. Rather, it is limited to verbs which have an agent who has control over achieving the stated goal.

Conjugation Recap

Although ~ために follows the same grammar as any other instance of a noun following a verb, because the Japanese expression itself is very different in regard to part of speech from its English counterpart “(in order) to,” we will look at how to conjugate ~ために with each kind of verb.

 /eru/-Ichidan Verb 食べる + ために → 食べるために (In order) to eat
 /iru/-Ichidan Verb 見る + ために → 見るために (In order) to see
 /u/-Godan Verb 使う + ために → 使うために (In order) to use
 /ku/-Godan Verb 行く + ために → 行くために (In order) to go
 /gu/-Godan Verb 泳ぐ + ために → 泳ぐために (In order) to swim
 /su/-Godan Verb 話す + ために → 話すために (In order) to talk
 /tsu/-Godan Verb 勝つ + ために → 勝つために (In order) to win
 /nu/-Godan Verb 死ぬ + ために → 死ぬために (In order) to die
 /mu/-Godan Verb 読む + ために → 読むために (In order) to read
 /ru/-Godan Verb 測る + ために → 測るために (In order) to measure
 Suru (Verb) する + ために → するために (In order) to do
 Kuru 来る + ために → 来るために (In order) to come

Conjugation Note: This usage of ~ために is usually used with affirmative expressions, and it must be used with the non-past form of a verb.

The Four Scenarios of the Objective-Marking ~(の)ために


Regardless of how ~(の)ために expresses purpose, the agent of both clauses in the sentence are always the same. To visualize this, envision all instances of the purpose-ため as being “AためにB.” The someone doing A and the someone doing B must be the same person. In case you’ve forgotten what “agent” means, the “agent” of a sentence is the “someone doing X.”  

Particle Note: Interestingly, the particle に is often dropped in literary settings from these two expressions when in declarative statements, but in interrogative sentences and/or comments directed at others, に is not dropped. Motivation for this is that in literary settings, grammatical connections such as に’s role of marking purpose that are easily deduced from context are dropped out of a necessity to be concise. Questions or statements directed toward others, though, present a need to be explicit, and so omission of latent parts of a sentence becomes out of place.

①: Noun A + の + ため: Thinking about A’s benefit

This interpretation is used with nouns that either concern people or are/made up of people. This usage is usually translated as “for.” Even when the “A” element in the base sentence pattern “AためにB” is a noun, the particle の is conceptualized as being an abbreviation of some verbal expression. For instance, in Ex. 6, a verb that comes to mind that の before ため stands for is 援助(えんじょ)する (to aid).  

6. (まず)しい人々(ひとびと)のために何百万円(なんひゃくまんえん)もの慈善寄付金(じぜんきふきん)(あつ)めました。
We have collected millions of yen in charity contributions for the poor.

7. (いま)までで一番国民(いちばんこくみん)のための政治(せいじ)(おこな)ってくれた総理大臣(そうりだいじん)(だれ)だと(おも)いますか?
Of the prime ministers up till now, who do you think has governed for the people the most?

8. 社会貢献活動(しゃかいこうけんかつどう)(とお)して、安全(あんぜん)快適(かいてき)社会(しゃかい)のために様々(さまざま)活動(かつどう)(おこな)っています。
Through social action programs, we are conducting various operations for a safe and pleasant society.

9. 言葉(ことば)(かべ)により、(たか)能力(のうりょく)()かせない外国人生徒(がいこくじんせいと)のため()()授業(じゅぎょう)外国人生徒(がいこくじんせいと)サポーターなどによる教育支援体制(きょういくしえんたいせい)(ととの)えている。
For foreign students who cannot make the best of their high-level abilities due to language barrier, (they) have arranged an education support structure by means of separate classes and foreign-student supporters.

10. 会社(かいしゃ)のために(はたら)いていることが、お客様(きゃくさま)(よろこ)ばれ、それが自分(じぶん)家族(かぞく)のためになるのであればそれでいいし、自分(じぶん)家族(かぞく)のために(はたら)くことでお客様(きゃくさま)から支持(しじ)され、それが会社(かいしゃ)にとっても有益(ゆうえき)ならそれでいい。また、お客様(きゃくさま)のために(はたら)いていることが、自分(じぶん)(よろこ)びとなり、それが結果的(けっかてき)会社(かいしゃ)利益(りえき)(つな)がり、給料(きゅうりょう)()がることで家族(かぞく)(よろこ)びとなればそれでいい。
Working for the company will delight one’s clientele, which is fine if it becomes beneficial for oneself and one’s family, and if one receives support from one’s clients by working for oneself and one’s family and that is also profitable to the company, then that’s fine. Also, if working for one’s clientele becomes one’s joy, which is then consequently tied to the company’s benefit, and leads to a raise that becomes one’s family’s delight, that too is fine.   

②: Noun A + の + ため: Objective to realizing A

In this usage, “Noun A” refers to some entity that can be viewed as a purpose/goal, and what follows is the objective for realizing that said purpose/goal. This usage can also have its parts reversed to have the objective stated first with the sentence ending in ~ためだ (Ex. 11). This usage is also typically translated as “for.”

11. なぜ会社(かいしゃ)のために仕事(しごと)(を)するかというと、自身(じしん)収入(しゅうにゅう)のためです。
As to why one works for one’s company, it’s for one’s own income.

Grammar Note: Though the first instance of ため is of Usage 1, the sentence-ending instance is of Usage 2. “Working for one’s computer” is the objective for realizing one’s source of income.

12. 安全(あんぜん)社会(しゃかい)実現(じつげん)のためには、すべての市民(しみん)理解(りかい)協力(きょうりょく)必要(ひつよう)です。
For the realization of a safe society, understanding and cooperation of all townspeople is necessary.

13. 自分自身(じぶんじしん)健康(けんこう)幸福(こうふく)のために(てき)(ゆる)し、(わす)れましょう。
For one’s own health and happiness, forgive one’s enemies and forget.

14. (なん)のために(たたか)うのか。権力(けんりょく)のためか。自由(じゆう)のためか。平和(へいわ)のためか。
What do you fight for? For influence? For freedom? For peace?

15. 責任(せきにん)ある科学者(かがくしゃ)は、科学(かがく)健全(けんぜん)発展(はってん)のために、こうした事態(じたい)(みずか)適切(てきせつ)対応(たいおう)していく必要(ひつよう)がある。
As for the scientists responsible, it is necessary that they themselves adequately handle these situations for the healthy development of science.

I want to make sure just in case. Is my understanding above okay?

③: Verb + ための Noun B: Noun B which realizes stated goal

Although this can also be seen as Noun A + ための Noun B, the point of Usage 3 is that when ~(の)ため is followed directly by another noun, that Noun B is what realizes the stated goal seen before ため. This usage may be translated as “for” or “to.”

16. 住民(じゅうみん)福祉(ふくし)向上(こうじょう)させるための政策(せいさく)実施(じっし)する。
To implement political measures for advancing the welfare of residents.

17. (しあわ)せになるためのたったひとつの(みち)とは?
What is the one single path to becoming happy?

18. 場所(ばしょ)によっては、着替(きが)えるための部屋(へや)提供(ていきょう)してくれるところもある。
Depending on the location, there are also places that will offer you a room to change.

19. 一人暮(ひとりぐ)らしをするための部屋(へや)()りるときには、部屋(へや)()してくれる大家(おおや)さんと賃貸契約(ちんたいけいやく)(むす)ぶことになります。
When renting a room to live alone, you will sign a lease agreement with the landlord who is renting you the room. 

20. (すべ)ては、家族(かぞく)により()生活(せいかつ)をもたらすためだ。
It is all [for bringing/to bring] about a better life for (their) families.

漢字 Note: The verb もたらす (to bring about) is only seldom spelled as 齎す.

④: Verb of Volition + ためには + Expression of Obligation

~ためには involves willful action/control by the agent/speaker in question. For verbs that have intransitive-transitive pairs, only the transitive form should be used with this pattern. This is further enforced by the sentences ending in an expression of obligation.

21. 成功(せいこう)するためには面倒臭(めんどうぐさ)いことをたくさんしなければなりませんよ。
(In order) to success, you must do lots of tiresome things.

22. 優良(ゆうりょう)見込(みこ)(きゃく)獲得(かくとく)するためには、これを見極(みきわ)めなくてはなりません。
(In order) to acquire excellent prospective [customers/clients], you must get to the bottom of this.

23. 大型船舶(おおがたせんぱく)運航(うんこう)するためには海技士(かいぎし)免許(めんきょ)必要(ひつよう)です。
(In order to) operate a large seacraft, [a mariner license is necessary/you must be a licensed mariner].

24. 心臓病(しんぞうびょう)予防(よぼう)するためには、どうすればいいですか。
(In order) to prevent heart disease, what should one do?

25. 英語(えいご)習得(しゅうとく)するためには、あなたの生活(せいかつ)(なか)英語(えいご)優先順位(ゆうせんじゅんい)(たか)くしましょう。
(In order) to learn English, increase the priority of English in your daily life.


As mentioned earlier, ~ないために is seldom used. This is because for it to be grammatical, 100% or near 100% confidence that the agent has control over the non-realization of “A” must be implied. Remember, the base sentence pattern for ~ために is “AためにB.” Just as how ため carries a very affirmative nuance of “A” being realized by a stated objective “B,” when paired with a negative sentence, this becomes a very affirmative statement that “A” won’t realize by means of the stated objective “B.”

26. スズメバチに(おそ)われないためには、どのようなことに()をつけたらよいのでしょうか。
What sort of things should one be careful of to not be attacked by wasps?

Sentence Note: This question asks about what actions—“B”—can be taken to give the agent control over the non-realization of “A”—being attacked by wasps.

27. 被害(ひがい)()わないために、様々(さまざま)詐欺(さぎ)手口(てぐち)について()っておきましょう!
Know about the various scam tricks in order not to become victimized!

Sentence Note: The use of ~ために is appropriate so long the speaker implies that “B”—actively finding out and learning about the various scam tricks—brings about person control over not becoming a victim.

28. そうならないためにも専門家以外の人に相談するのはやめましょう。
Refrain from consulting with non-experts to make it so it also doesn’t happen that way.

Grammar Note: Although なる typically doesn’t imply volition, this sentence implies that “B” is the means by which the agent has control over “A” not realizing, thus making the sentence grammatical.

29. ()なないために()きるのは御免(ごめん)だ。
I'll have nothing to do with living in order not to die.

30. ~パリ協定後(きょうていご)投融資(とうゆうし)(あやま)らないために~
—In Order not to Make Investment and Lending Mistakes Post-Paris Accords—

Sentence Note: The use of ~ないために is most common in headlines such as this.