922 - に代わって(にかわって)

JLPT N3: に代わって(にかわって // instead of; in place of

代わる (かわる) is a verb meaning "to take the place of," "to substitute for," etc.
 

Note for kanji nerds:

The word かわる has different meanings depending on the kanji used. 代わる (かわる) might mean "to take the place of (someone or something)," but 変わる (かわる) could mean something like "to change" in the sense of "to transform into something else." There is also 替わる (かわる), which could mean "to change (places, functions, etc.)." Lastly, 換わる (かわる) could mean something like "to be exchanged, swapped, bartered, etc."

All of the above are intransitive verbs, but they can appear as transitive verbs, too: 代える, 変える, 替える, and 換える are all read as かえる.

Did you notice that I keep saying that certain kanji here "might" or "could" have certain meanings? The reason I'm being so vague is that the lines distinguishing which kanji should be used for which purposes are rather blurry. The best way to figure out which ones you want to use in certain situations will be to encounter Japanese people using them hundreds and hundreds of times over... just don't be surprised if Japanese people aren't always consistent!


Anyway, the pattern に代わって (にかわって) means something like "instead of" or "in place of."

For example, in the following sentence, this is happening:

荒木先生に代わって
あらき せんせい にかわって
in place of Araki-sensei

In other words, the NOUN appearing before に代わって is what is being substituted out for something else:

産休中の荒木先生に代わって、しばらく私が理科の授業を受け持つことになった。
さんきゅう ちゅう の あらき せんせい にかわって、 しばらく わたし が りか の じゅぎょう を うけもつ ことになった。
While Araki-sensei is away on maternity leave, I will be teaching science in her place.
Literally: “during (her) maternity leave + の + Araki-sensei + に代わって, + a little while + I + が + science + の + classes + を + take charge of + has been decided that (=thing + に + became).”


It's also possible to say に代わ (にかわり) instead of に代わって (にかわって). The meaning is basically the same:

産休中の荒木先生に代わり、しばらく私が理科の授業を受け持つことになった。
さんきゅう ちゅう の あらき せんせい にかわり、 しばらく わたし が りか の じゅぎょう を うけもつ ことになった。
While Araki-sensei is away on maternity leave, I will be teaching science in her place.
Literally: “during (her) maternity leave + の + Araki-sensei + に代わり, + a little while + I + が + science + の + classes + を + take charge of + has been decided that (=thing + に + became).”


If you've been encountering some Japanese in your own daily life, you're probably more familiar with the phrase の代わりに (のかわりに) (note that there is a の before 代わり [かわり] and a に after it!), which has almost the same meaning:

産休中の荒木先生の代わりに、しばらく私が理科の授業を受け持つことになった。
さんきゅう ちゅう の あらき せんせい のかわりに、 しばらく わたし が りか の じゅぎょう を うけもつ ことになった。
While Araki-sensei is away on maternity leave, I will be teaching science in her place.
Literally: “during (her) maternity leave + の + Araki-sensei + の代わりに, + a little while + I + が + science + の + classes + を + take charge of + has been decided that (=thing + に + became).”


The main difference is that に代わって (にかわって) (or に代わり [にかわり]) sounds a lot stiffer and more formal than の代わりに. I hear and say の代わりに (のかわりに) a lot more often in my own interactions in Japanese.

 

With that, I've covered basically the entirety of this grammar point.

All that's left now is to start getting a feel for it by exposing ourselves to some example sentences...

我が家では忙しい両親に代わって、私たちが弟の面倒を見ています。
わがや で は いそがしい りょうしん にかわって、 わたしたち が おとうと の めんどう を みています。
Our parents are both busy people, so we take care of our little brother instead.
Literally: “our family + で + は + busy + parents + に代わって, + we + が + younger brother + の + care + を + are looking.”


アメリカでは、首都であるワシントンD.C.に代わり、ニューヨークが最大の都市となっている。
アメリカ で は、 しゅと である ワシントン ディーシー にかわり、 ニューヨーク が さいだい の とし と なっている。
In America, instead of the capital, Washington D.C., New York is the biggest city.
Literally: “America + で + は, + capital city + である + Washington D.C. + に代わり, + New York + が + biggest + の + city + と + is becoming.”


あの会社は、従来のお金に代わって、仮想通貨で給料を支払っているそうだ。
あの かいしゃ は、 じゅうらい の おかね にかわって、 かそうつうか で きゅうりょう を しはらっている そうだ。
Apparently, that company pays their employees with virtual currency instead of conventional money.
Literally: “that + company + は, + traditional / conventional + の + money + に代わって, + virtual currency + で + wages + を + are paying + そうだ (=[hearsay marker]).”

 

Finished!

If you're hoping to master all the uses of the verb 代わる (かわる), then reviewing these lessons would be a good idea:

[NDL #338] - JLPT N3: 代わりに (in place of)
[NDL #345] - JLPT N3: 代わりに (in exchange for)



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