716 - ようにして

JLPT N3: ようにして (sort of ~ while [when])

I'm having a very hard time putting ようにして into English.

First, I'll just clarify that it's not the ように meaning "so that," which we saw in this lesson: [NDL #359] - JLPT N3: ように (so that).

An example of that:


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."


↑ That ように is used to describe a desired outcome of some kind.

ようにして, on the other hand, is used when describing the way in which a thing is done (though there may be a desired outcome in mind):


ニンニクの皮はこするようにしてむくと簡単にむけます。
ニンニク の かわ は こする ようにして むく と かんたん に むけます。
If you sort of rub garlic when peeling it, the skin comes off easily.
Literally: “garlic + の + skin + は + rub / scrub + ようにして + peel + と + easily + can peel.”

Let's zoom in on the middle of that sentence:

こするようにしてむく
こする ようにして むく
sort of rub while peeling
Literally: “rub / scrub + ようにして + peel”

むく, "peeling," is the action that will certainly occur, the "goal," if you will. こする "rubbing," is the action that is "sort of" done while peeling.

That's a pretty vague meaning, yeah? And I didn't even think it was necessary to include "sort of" in the full-sentence translation. Kind of confusing, if you ask me.

Here's another example:


このドアは、ちょっと持ち上げるようにして押すと、スムーズに開きます。
この ドア は、 ちょっと もちあげる ようにして おす と、 スムーズ に あきます。
If you pull up on this door a bit when you push it, it opens smoothly.
Literally: “this + door + は, + a little bit + lift up + ようにして + push + と, + smooth + に + opens.”

Zooming in:

持ち上げるようにして押す
もちあげる ようにして おす
sort of lift up when pushing
Literally: “lift up + ようにして + push”

So you're not necessarily lifting the door up. But you kind of are. You're just pulling up on it a bit.

The best explanation I can come up with for "V1 ようにして V2" is that "you V1 a bit while/when you V2."

The structure is:

V るようにしてVERB

You'll find that it's often used when giving advice on how to do something. For example, if Rei had just made a big bowl of raw soap (which can be quite dangerous), and you were helping her carry it to the next room, she could tell you:


落としたら危ないので、両手で抱くようにして持ってください。
おとしたら あぶない ので、 りょうて で だく ようにして もって ください。
It would be dangerous if you dropped it, so please hold it with both arms.
Literally: “if dropped + dangerous + because, + both hands + で + hold in one’s arms (e.g. a baby) / hug + ようにして + hold (and) + please.”
Note: The nuance is that the listener should wrap their arms around the thing.

It's not always used when giving advice, though.

We could also say:


あの子猫は、右の後ろ足をかばうようにして歩いている。怪我しているのかもしれない。
あの こねこ は、 みぎ の うしろあし を かばう ようにして あるいている。 けが している の かもしれない。
That kitten looks like it's trying to walk without using its back right leg. It might be hurt.
Literally: “that + kitten + は, + right + の + back leg + を + protect / guard + ようにして + is walking. + injury + is doing + の + maybe / might be.”


This is one of those grammar points that I somewhat grasp ― can use, even ― but have trouble putting into English.

Hopefully my sparse explanations, along with these native-crafted example sentences, are enough to help you get a feel for ようにして.

I think the best thing you can do to understand this grammar point is to get a feel for how よう is used in general. We've had a few lessons on different ways it's used already:
- [NDL #359] - JLPT N3: ように (so that)
- [NDL #714] - JLPT N4: ような
- [NDL #715] - JLPT N4: ようになる

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