745 - にしろ

JLPT N2: にしろ (even if; whether or not)

にしろ means something like "even if," as we see here:


プレゼントを買うお金がないにしろ、「おめでとう」くらいは言ったほうがいいよ。
プレゼント を かう おかね が ない にしろ、 「おめでとう」 くらい は いった ほう が いい よ。
Even if you don’t have money to get her [him] a gift, you should at least say Happy Birthday [Congratulations].
Literally: “present + を + buy + money + が + there isn’t / don’t have + にしろ, + 「congratulations」 + at least + は + should say (=said + way + が + good) + よ.”

Like we see in the above sentence, にしろ is often used in the following pattern:

A にしろ、B
Even if A, B.

...where B is the speaker's judgment, advice, opinion, criticism, etc.

This is pretty much the same meaning としても and にしても, one of which we've seen in a past N2 lesson: [NDL #367] - JLPT N2: にしても ([hypothetical] even if).

The difference is that にしろ sounds a bit more formal. Although it's formal, this is still relatively common Japanese, so you will encounter it.


🚧 Construction 🚧

You don't need to worry too much about what comes before にしろ.

Generally speaking, you can just put words in plain form right before it. In the case of na-adjectives and nouns, である can be inserted between them and にしろ, as in the following sentence:


たとえ仲のいい友達であるにしろ、女の子にそんなこと聞いたらだめだよ。
たとえ なかのいい ともだち である にしろ、 おんなのこ に そんな こと きいたら だめ だ よ。
Even if she is your good friend, you can’t ask a girl a question like that.
Literally: “even if + close / intimate (=relations + の + good) + friend + is (=である) + にしろ, + girl + に + that kind of + thing + if (you) ask + not allowed / bad + だ + よ.”


Did you notice the word たとえ (even if) in that last example?

Words like たとえ仮に (かりに // supposing) and question words like 何 (なに// what) are commonly used in sentences with にしろ, as we'll see in our next two examples...


たとえ悪気はなかったにしろ、人に怪我をさせたのだからちゃんと謝るべきだ。
たとえ わるぎ は なかった にしろ、 ひと に けが を させた のだ から ちゃんと あやまる べきだ。
Even if you [he] didn’t intend to cause any harm, since you [he] hurt someone, you [he] should apologize.
Literally: “even if+ ill intentions + は + there weren’t / didn’t have + にしろ, + person + に + injury + を + made do + のだから (~because) + properly + apologize + should + だ.”

飼うにしろ、ペットは最後まで責任をもって飼わなければならない。
なに を かう にしろ、 ペット は さいご まで せきにん を もって かわなければならない。
Regardless of what type of pet one gets, pet owners have a responsibility to take care of their pet until the end.
Literally: “what + を + keep (a pet) + にしろ, + pet + は + the end + until + take responsibility (and) (=responsibility + を + have / bear [and]) + must keep (a pet).”


Pretty straightforward, yeah?

Hope you enjoyed this lesson. ^_^

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