359 - ように (so that)

First, the good news: Today we're looking at ように, which is an extremely useful grammar point.

Second, the bad news: This is not the only time we'll look at grammar constructions using よう. In fact, by the time we get through all of the N5-N1 grammar, we'll have looked at over 20 usages of よう. (*_*)

Third, the so-so news: The more you study よう, the more it will make sense. So learning Usage #15, for example, will be a lot easier than learning the first few usages.


What does よう mean?

I don't know. So don't worry about it.

While I can't tell you what よう means in isolation, I can tell you what it means in specific types of sentences.

Specifically, I can explain...


JLPT N4: ~ように(so that

There are a few uses of ~ように, but the one we're looking at today means something like "so that" or "in order to."

Here's an example:

血圧が下がるように塩分を控えています。
けつあつ が さがる ように えんぶん を ひかえています。
I'm cutting back on salt so that my blood pressure goes down.
Literally: "blood pressure + が + go down + ように + salt (content) + を + am restraining (myself) from excessive amounts of."

So we have...

A = Thing I want to happen but cannot (fully) control (e.g. "my blood pressure drops").
B = Thing I do so that A happens (e.g. "I cut back on salt").

I do B so that A.
I cut back on salt so that my blood pressure drops.

That's how we say it in English, but in Japanese we say:

A ように B.
My blood pressure drops ように I cut back on salt.

Since I know you're too lazy to scroll up and re-read our example, here it is one more time:

血圧が下がるように塩分を控えています。
けつあつ が さがる ように えんぶん を ひかえています。
I'm cutting back on salt so that my blood pressure goes down.
Literally: "blood pressure + が + go down + ように + salt (content) + を + am restraining (myself) from excessive amounts of."

Make sense?

I have no idea if you're nodding your head or what, so I'm just going to keep moving forward...


Construction

Just like the grammar point we saw in the last lesson ([NDL #358] - JLPT N4: ことがある), we are using positive and negative plain form verbs in the present tense (that's a mouthful):

V るV ないように


That's enough explaining, yeah?

Let's start learning a more effective way... with examples!


リビングから海が見えるように家をリフォームしたいです。
リビング から うみ が みえる ように いえ を リフォーム したい です。
I want to remodel the house so that you can see the ocean from the living room.
Literally: "living room + from + sea + が + be visible + ように + house + を + renovation (=reform) + want to do + です."


明日寝坊しないように今日は早めに寝よう。
あした ねぼう しない ように きょう は はやめ に ねよう。
I think I'll go to bed early tonight so that I don't oversleep tomorrow.
Literally: "tomorrow + sleeping in late + don't do + ように + today + は + ahead of time + に + let's sleep."
Note: For more on why I translated 寝よう to "I think I'll go to bed," check out Lessons #54 and #55.


両親が結婚記念日を祝うように、高価なワインをプレゼントした。
りょうしん が けっこん きねんび を いわう ように、 こうか な ワイン を プレゼント した。
I got my parents an expensive bottle of wine to celebrate their anniversary.
Literally: "(both) parents + が + marriage + anniversary + を + celebrate + ように, + high price + wine + を + present + did."
Note: If we wanted to more literally include the meaning of 祝うように, maybe we could have translated it as, "...of wine so that they could celebrate..." or something like that.


Also in the above sentence, note that while "my parents" can control whether or not they celebrate, the speaker cannot fully control this activity, so it still qualifies as A (a thing the speaker wants to happen but cannot fully control).


That's all for this one.

Note that aside from needing to know this grammar point to pass JLPT N3, you can also use it quite a bit in everyday language.

Maybe you should practice it so that your Japanese sounds B.A.




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