825 - どころか (not only... but also/even...)

JLPT N2: どころか (not only... but also/even...)

In our last N2 lesson, we saw how どころか is used to describe a result that is the opposite of an expectation.

A refresher:

Expectation: Drinking alone is fun.
Actual outcome: Drinking alone is just lonely/depressing.

一人でお酒を飲んでも、楽しいどころか寂しいだけだ。
ひとり で おさけ を のんでも、 たのしい どころか さみしい だけ だ。
Drinking alone isn’t fun. It’s just depressing.
Literally: “alone / by oneself (=one person + で) + alcohol + を + even if (you) drink, + fun + どころか + lonely + only + だ.”

 

どころか has another use, though: Contrasting levels of things.

How we translate this usage of どころか depends on the type of sentence in which it appears.

In affirmative sentences, we'll translate it to something like: "not only... but also/even..."

In negatives sentences, we'll translate it to something like: "not even... let alone..." or "not even... much less..."


An affirmative example:

その地震の影響で、関東どころか東日本全体が停電になった。
その じしん の えいきょう で、 かんとう どころか ひがしにほん ぜんたい が ていでん に なった。
As a result of the earthquake, not only Kanto, but even all of eastern Japan experienced power outages.
Literally: “that + earthquake + の + influence / effect + で, + Kanto + どころか + eastern Japan + entirety / whole + が + power outage / blackout + に + became.”


A negative example:

足首を怪我して、歩くどころか立つこともできません。
あしくび を けが して、 あるく どころか たつ こと も できません。
I hurt my ankle so bad that I can’t even stand, let alone walk.
Literally: “ankle + を + injury / hurting + do (and), + walk + どころか + stand + こと + も + cannot do.”

 

👷 Construction 👷

Like we saw before, どころか can attach to any plain-form word (including nouns just as they are).

In the case of na-adjectives, however, we need to include

BIG BANGは韓国で人気どころか、アジア中で大人気です。
ビッグバン は かんこく で にんきな どころか、 アジア じゅう  で だいにんき です。
BIG BANG isn’t just popular in South Korea. It’s wildly popular all across Asia.
Literally: “BIG BANG + は + South Korea + で + popular + どころか, + Asia + all over / all throughout + で + very popular + です.”

 

One more example, after which you can proudly say you've mastered どころか

忙しくて、遊びに行くどころか寝る時間もない。
いそがしくて、 あそび に いく どころか ねる じかん も ない。
I’m so busy that, aside from not having time to go out (with friends), I don’t even have time to sleep.
Literally: “busy (and), + playing + に + go + どころか + sleep + time + も + don’t have.”

 

Finished!