第211課: The Particle ながら II: ながら(も)& ながらに(して)

In this second installment concerning the particle ながら, we learn about its second most common usage: showing contradiction.


The particle ながら, when used to show contradiction, follows the same restraints on clauses as when it shows simultaneous action. This is because the contradiction involves the same subject and because the two parts of the contradiction still happen in the same time span.

Unlike its primary usage to show non-contradictory simultaneous action, this use of ながら can attach to pretty much anything. You can find it directly after nouns, adjectival nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs.

  Affirmative Negative
 Nouns N (であり)+ ながら(も) Nではない + ながら(も)
 Adjectival Nouns Adj. N(であり)+ながら(も) Adj. Nではない+ながら(も)
 Adjectives Adj. +ながら(も) Drop /i/ + くない+ながら(も)
 Adverbs Adv. + ながら(も) 
 Verbs Stem + ながら(も) V +ない → ず・ぬ + ながら(も)

  The productivity of all these combinations will not be equal in the real world. ながら(も) is most frequently used with verbs, and for everything else it may be follow, creative license is required. Due to the fact that this pattern is more so employed in the written language, you will need to explore this grammar on a case-by-case basis. There are many set phrases that utilize this, some of which are very important. For instance, 残念だ  means “to be unfortunate,” and when used with ながら as 残念ながら, it’s used to mean “unfortunately…”

The addition of the particle も in this expression is only used for emphatic purposes. As such , normally, ながら and ながらも are interchangeable.

1. 彼女(かのじょ)はあんなにいろいろ苦労(くろう)しながらも、それを()にしていない。
Even though she's going through that many troubles, she isn't worrying about them.

2. 湯沢(ゆざわ)さんは大企業(だいきぎょう)社長(しゃちょう)(であり)ながら(も)、(しず)かな()()いた物腰(ものごし)印象的(いんしょうてき)でした。
Though Mr. Yuzawa is the president of a large corporation, his quiet and calm demeanor is impressive.

3. 真由子(まゆこ)初心者(しょしんしゃ)(であり)ながら(も)、潜在(せんざい)能力(のうりょく)はかなりあると(おも)います。
Even though Mayuko is a beginner, I think that her skills are considerably good. 

4. しかしながら、予算案(よさんあん)はまだ修正(しゅうせい)余地(よち)がある。
Nevertheless, the budget still has plenty of room for improvement.

5. すでに一月(いちがつ)()ごしてしまったのですが、(おそ)まきながら初詣(はつもうで)()かけました。
I’ve already let January pass, but I belatedly went out to my first shrine visit of the New Year.

6. 讃岐(さぬき)うどんとは()いながらも、ほとんどは外国産(がいこくさん)小麦(こむぎ)(つく)られている。
Although we call it “Sanuki Udon,” most of it is made with foreign manufactured wheat.

7. 彼女(かのじょ)はダイエットしていると()いながら(も)ケーキばかり()べている。
Although she says that she’s on a diet, all she eats is cake.

8. ()ずかしながら、自己紹介(じこしょうかい)です。
As embarrassing as this is, this is my self-introduction.

Form Note:  Note that with the adjective 恥ずかしい, the final /i/ is dropped.

9.{ (われ)自分(じぶん)}ながら(なさ)けない。
This is deplorable even if I do say so myself.

10. ゾンビーは()んでいながらも、生前(せいぜん)(おな)行動(こうどう)()(かえ)します。
Zombies, though dead, repeat the same actions as when they were alive.

11. ゆっくりながら(も)、完成(かんせい)(ちか)づいています。
Although slowly, I’m approaching completion.

12. 残念(ざんねん)ながら、記録(きろく)更新(こうしん)できませんでした。
Unfortunately, I was unable to break the record.

13. 憲太郎君(けんたろうくん)失敗(しっぱい)するとわかりながら(も)、そのままやってしまう性格(せいかく)だ。
Kentaro has the kind of personality of doing something as is even if he understands that he’ll fail.

14. (かみ)(ゆる)さない(つみ)だと()っていながらも、故意(こい)(つづ)けていく。
To continue purposely doing something whilst knowing it is a sin God does not condone.

15. 社員(しゃいん)不正(ふせい)()りながら勧誘(かんゆう)していたことがわかりました。
It has been discovered that company employees were soliciting whilst knowing of the illegality.

16. (せま)いながらも、自分(じぶん)のアパートを()()れることができました。
While small, I’ve obtained my own apartment.

17. (まず)しいながらも、(おだ)やかに()らすことができます。
Once can live calmly live whilst being poor.

18. (およ)ばずながら、一生懸命(いっしょうけんめい)やります。
I’ll do it to the best of my ability, as poor as that may be.

19. 完全(かんぜん)ではないながらも、英語(えいご)(つづ)りと(おと)にはある程度規則(ていどきそく)があります。
Although not absolute, there are rules to some degree to the spelling and sounds of English.


もさることながら is a set phrase that follows nouns that states that the one quality is of course true, but a second quality is also just as so.

20. 中華料理(ちゅうかりょうり)(あじ)もさることながら、健康(けんこう)にいいですよ。
It goes without saying that Chinese food is tasty, but it's also good for you.  

21. 富士山(ふじさん)紅葉(もみじ)もさることながら、冬景色(ふゆげしき)綺麗(きれい)です。
The autumn leaves of Mt. Fuji go without saying, but its winter-scape is also pretty.

22. この(くるま)燃費(ねんぴ)()さもさることながら、ネット(じょう)での評判(ひょうばん)(たか)かったです。
 The gas mileage of this car goes without saying, but its internet review was high as well.


In the patterns ながらに(して)or ながら(の), the particle ながら may also mean “as” as in staying “as is” in a certain condition.  Just as is the case with the past usage, instances of this meaning ought to be learned on a case-by-case basis.

23. すべての(ひと)()まれながらに平等(びょうどう)である。
All men are born equal.

24. 田中(たなか)さんは(いえ)()ながらにして、(つき)70(ななじゅう)万円(まんえん)くらいの収入(しゅうにゅう)()ている。
Mr. Tanaka earns an income of approximately 700,000 yen a month whilst staying at home.

25. 村民(そんみん)(むかし)ながらの伝統(でんとう)(まも)(つづ)けている。
The villages continue protecting traditions as they were long ago.

26. (かれ)子供(こども)ながらにしっかりしている。
He’s quite level-headed despite being a kid.

27. 夏子(なつこ)は、自分(じぶん)()(まえ)()こった悲惨(ひさん)出来事(できごと)(なみだ)ながらに(かた)りました。
Natsuko tearfully spoke of the tragic events that transpired in front of her eyes.

28. いつもながら、彼氏(かれし)料理(りょうり)はとてもうまい。
My boyfriend’s cooking is very delicious as always.

29. この会社(かいしゃ)(むかし)ながらの製法(せいほう)豆腐(とうふ)(つく)っている。
This company makes tofu with traditional methods.

30. 人間(にんげん)には、()まれながらにして貧富(ひんぷ)()がある。
Humans are born with a disparity of wealth.