345 - 代わりに (in exchange for)

In our last N3 lesson, we looked at how 代わりに(かわりに)can be used to say "instead of" or "in place of."

For example, we saw these sentences:

大学に進学する代わりに、就職して家計を助けたい。
だいがく に しんがく する かわりに、 しゅうしょく して かけい を たすけたい。
Instead of continuing onto college, I want to get a job and help support my family.
Literally: "university + に + entering a higher-level school (esp. university) + do + in place of, + finding employment + do (and) + family finances + を + want to help."

アルバイトで忙しい兄の代わりに、わたしが銀行に行ってあげた。
アルバイト で いそがしい あに の かわりに、 わたし が ぎんこう に いって あげた。
Since my (older) brother was busy with work, I went to the bank for him.
Literally: "job + で + busy + older brother + の + in place of, + I + が + bank + に + go (and) + gave."

But there is another usage of 代わりに that shows up on the N3 test:


Using 代わりに to say "in exchange (for)" or "on the other hand."

Let's look at an example...

日焼けは肌に悪い代わりに、適度な日光浴は心身の調子を整える効果がある。
ひやけ は はだ に わるい かわりに、 てきどな にっこうよく は しんしん の ちょうし を ととのえる こうか が ある。
Although sunburns are bad for your skin, moderate sun exposure has beneficial effects on both the body and the mind.
Literally: "sunburn / suntan + は + skin + に + bad + in exchange for, + moderate + sunbathing + は + mind and body + の + put in tune (=tune + を + put in order) + effect + が + there is."

(Note: To learn more about 調子 (ちょうし), check out these lessons: [NDL #73] - My Condition Is Bad, Part I; [NDL #74] - My Condition Is Bad, Part II.)

As in this sentence, this usage of 代わりに is frequently used to express that something has both positive and negative features to it, or to express that an issue has contrasting sides.

With our example here, it's almost like saying:

[sun exposure can be bad] in exchange for [sun exposure can be good].
[sun exposure can be bad] 代わりに [sun exposure can be good].

In other words:

[demerit] 代わりに [merit].

In these cases, maybe translating 代わりに as "in exchange for" can be a little misleading. It might be more appropriate to say "while, [demerit], (also) [merit]." Or "on the one hand, [demerit], but also [merit]."

Let's look at another example:

新しいアパートは家賃が安い代わりに、学校から遠くなってしまった。
あたらしい アパート は やちん が やすい かわりに、 がっこう から とおく なって しまった。
While the rent for my new apartment is low, it's also quite far from school.
Literally: "new + apartment + は + rent + が + cheap + in exchange for, + school + from + far + became (regretfully)."

[my apartment is cheap] 代わりに, [my apartment is far from school].
[merit] 代わりに, [demerit].
[side A] 代わりに, [side B]

Hopefully that makes sense. ^^


Grammar Formation

Just put a word in plain form before 代わりに.

PLAIN FORM代わりに

In this lesson specifically, we are using verbs in plain form and i-adjectives in plain form.

Verbs: あげる(give)、しない(not do

あげる代わりに
しない代わりに

i-adjectives: 悪い(わるい // bad)、安い(やすい // cheap; inexpensive

悪い代わりに
安い代わりに

That's it!

If you don't know what plain form is, you might have to go read some boring books... or I'm sure I'll get to it in a basics lesson... someday...


So above, we saw that this 代わりに can be used to express two sides of something.

But it can also be used to express compensation.

In other words, it can literally mean "in exchange for," as in the following sentence:

宿題を手伝ってあげる代わりに、私の部屋を掃除してください。
しゅくだい を てつだって あげる かわりに、 わたし の へや を そうじ して ください。
In exchange for helping you with your homework, please clean my room.
Literally: "homework + を + help (and) + give + in exchange for, + I + の + room + を + cleaning + do + please."

This example is an exchange between two people, the speaker and the listener.

But we can also use the "代わりに of compensation" to talk about "compensating" one activity with another, as in this sentence:

フェルナンドさんは貯金はしない代わりに、投資は積極的にする。
フェルナンドさん は ちょきん は しない かわりに、 とうし は せっきょくてき に する。
Instead of saving his money, Fernando actively invests it.
Literally: "Fernando-san + は + saving + は + not do + in exchange for, + investment + は + actively / positively + に + do."

That's all for this one.

With the power of this lesson and the last one combined, you now become...

Oh wait, no. That's not right.

You now become just... well... a person who knows all the usages of 代わりに needed to pass JLPT tests. We can't all be Captain Planet. I'm sorry.




Noticed any typos we've missed or other issues?
Report them here at this link.

Have questions about something in this lesson? Something not quite clicking yet? Join our discord community and discuss any questions / comments with us and fellow students.
You can join by heading to this link.