360 - 上で (in order to)

JLPT N2 Grammar: 上で(うえで

You might be thinking, wait, we did this grammar point before, didn't we? The answer is yes and no.

We previously ([NDL #311] - JLPT N2: うえで (after having)) covered the grammar point 上で which is related to time and order. If you can recall, it meant, “after having.” For example:

ご予約をした上で、ご来店ください。
ごよやく を した うえで、 ごらいてん ください。
After making the reservation, please come to the store.
Literally: “reservation + を + did + after + come to the store + please”

In the above case there are two actions taking place.The grammar point focuses on the order of these two actions.

This lesson’s 上で is different. It focuses on a goal or objective. It essentially means “for,” or “in order to.”

The sentences are split into two phrases. The first phrase represents the goal or objective that is actively being worked toward. The second phrase describes what the necessary actions are to achieve that goal. So very simply, "in order to X, Y." For example:

外国の文化を理解する上で、その国の歴史を知ることは欠かせない。
がいこく の ぶんか を りかい する うえで、 その くに の れきし を しる こと は かかせない。
In order to understand a foreign country’s culture, knowing that country’s history is essential.
Literally: “foreign country + の + culture + を + understand + do + in order to + that + country + の + history + を + know + こと + が + essential”

Here, X is "understand a foreign country's culture."
Y is "knowing that country's history is essential."
In order to X, Y.

X 上で, Y.
understand a foreign country's culture 上で, knowing that country's history is essential.
In order to understand a foreign country's culture, know that country's history is essential.


Here is the construction:

V る上で
成功する上で
せいこうする うえで
in order to succeed...

N* + の 上で
保存の上で
ほぞん の うえで
in order to save...

*Note: We can only use nouns that can be used with the verb する. For example, we can say 保存する (ほぞんする // to save; to preserve). You can't use nouns that do not ever connect to する. This makes sense, because we need nouns that elicit actions.


Here are some example sentences:

世界平和を実現する上での課題は数えきれないほどある。
せかい へいわ を じつげん する うえで の かだい は かぞえきれない ほど ある。
There are countless issues to deal with in order to realize world peace.
Literally: “world + peace + を + implementation; realization + do + in order to + の + problems + は + countless + extent + there is”


雪国に暮らす上で大変なことは、毎日の雪かきです。
ゆきぐに に くらす うえで たいへん な こと は、 まいにち の ゆきかき です。
In order to live in the snow country, one difficult thing is shoveling snow every day.
Literally: “snow country + に + live + in order to + difficult + な + thing + は + every day + の + shoveling + です”
Note: "Snow country" refers to areas of Japan that experience heavy, long-lasting snowfall. Here's a Wikipedia article about it.


掃除や読書はストレス解消の上で非常に効果的です。
そうじ や どくしょ は ストレス かいしょう の うえで ひじょうに こうかてき です。
Cleaning and reading are extremely effective for reducing stress.
Literally: “cleaning + や + reading + は + stress + reduction + の + in order to + extremely + effective + です”


図書館の利用の上で、以下の行為は禁止されています。
としょかん の りよう の うえで、 いか の こうい は きんしされています。
In order to use the library, the following actions are prohibited.
Literally: “library + の + use + in order to + following + の + actions + は + prohibited”


So how can you tell the difference between the two 上で’s? It all comes down to the context of the sentence.

If it is an objective (this lesson), or if it has to do with time (NDL #311).

Also, sentence clues can be helpful. The 上で meaning "after having" often comes after a past tense verb. This is because one thing first has to happen, then the other (time.) This lesson’s 上で only comes after plain form verbs (or する nouns).

This 上で is pretty straightforward. As always, see if you can come up with a few sentences using this grammar point.

And of course, here is a picture of my adorable dog for all your hard work studying:


This lesson was written by Cassy L., a guest contributor:


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