626 - 次第で (しだいで)

Maybe you'll study Japanese today. Maybe you won't.

It depends on you.

I got you covered:


JLPT N2: 次第で (depending on; [it] depends on; based on)

To say "blah blah blah depending on X," you should say "X 次第で, blah blah blah."

次第 (しだい) means... well... quite a few things. Typically it has grammatical uses, so it's hard for me to put a solid definition to it. That also explains the range of dictionary entries you'll come across for this word:

(1) depending on
(2) as soon as; immediately (upon)
(3) in accordance with
(4) order; program; programme; precedence
(5) circumstances; course of events; reason

Oh 🦌.


Let's look at an example:


朝食を食べるかどうかは、その日の気分次第です
ちょうしょく を たべる かどうか は、 その ひ の きぶん しだい です。
I decide whether or not to eat breakfast depending on how I feel that day.
Literally: “breakfast + を + eat + whether or not (=かどうか) + は, + that + day + の + feeling / mood + depending on + です.”


The speaker wants to say "depending on how I feel." That is, he wants to say "depending on my mood."

Accordingly, he takes the word for mood/feeling, 気分 (きぶん) and adds 次第 (しだい) to the end of it.

The combination 気分次第 (きぶんしだい) is common enough that it shows up in some dictionaries as things like "according to (depending on) the mood of the moment" or "as one's fancy dictates."


Wait, wait, wait.

The lesson title says 次第で, but that sentence says 次第です. What gives?

Well, if 次第 is at the end of the sentence, we'll put です or だ after it (or put nothing after it, at the end of some casual sentences), but if it's in the middle of a sentence, we'll put で after it. Like this:


努力次第で、あなたの可能性は無限に広がります。
どりょく しだいで、 あなた の かのうせい は むげん に ひろがります。
Depending on the effort you put in, your potential is limitless.
Literally: “(great) effort + depending on + で, + you + の + possibility + は + infinite + に + expands / widens.”


How to Make Sentences with 次第で

Just put a NOUN in front of it. That's all:

NOUN次第で
depending on NOUN


That's easy. But maybe it's a bit more complicated figuring out where to put the rest of the pieces of your sentence.


In English we can say:

"Depending on [factor], [result]."
Ex: "Depending on the weather, we might stay home."

"[Result], depending on [factor]."
Ex: "We might stay home, depending on the weather."


In Japanese, it's:

[factor] 次第で、[result].
Ex: "Weather 次第で、we might stay home."

[result], [factor] 次第です.
Ex: "We might stay home, weather 次第です."


Long story short: the factor affecting the result comes before 次第で・次第です.



航空券の値段次第で、旅行の行き先を決めましょう。
こうくうけん の ねだん しだいで、 りょこう の いきさき を きめましょう。
Let’s decide where to go for our trip based on the price of plane tickets.
Literally: “plane ticket + の + price + depending on + で, + trip / travel + の + destination + を + let’s decide.”



それが良いことか悪いことかは、あなたの考え方次第です
それ が よい こと か わるい こと か は、 あなた の かんがえかた しだい です。
Determining whether that is a good thing or a bad thing depends on how you think about it.
Literally: “that + が + good + thing + か + bad + thing + か + は, + you + の + way of thinking + depending on + です.”


That's all for this one. There are some other uses of 次第 and similar grammar points like いかんで (← N1 grammar). We'll cover all of them in the future, though.

Listen out for people saying "depending on you" or "(something) depends on you" in the form of あなた次第、お前次第、君次第、and so on in anime, manga, novels, and so on. It's pretty common.

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