879 - にとって

JLPT N3: にとって (for, to, from the point of view of)

にとって is used when trying to describe the point of view of the person or group of people in question. 

In English, we can think of it as being a translation of something along the lines of "for me" or "for elderly people". 

 

Let's take a look at some examples below so you can get an idea of how にとって is used in a sentence. 

にとって、仕事はただの暇つぶしです。
わたし にとって、しごと は ただ の ひまつぶし です。
For me, a job is just a way to kill time.
Literally: “I + にとって, + work / job + は + just + の + killing time + です.”


Here にとって is used after (I), which is easy enough for us to get started with.

So, in this sentence, we're trying to give our own point of view in terms of some situation. In this case, our opinion is what follows — simply that we think "a job is just a way to kill time."

 

Let's look at another example. 

あなたにとって「神様」とは何ですか。
あなた にとって 「かみさま」 とは なん です か。
What is “God” to you?
Literally: “you + にとって + God + とは + what + です + か (=[question marker]).”


Here, the person in question changes to the listener, but other than that it's still a rather simple example.


How are we doing so far?

Now that we have a few examples under our belt, let's take a look at the construction of how to use にとって in a sentence. 

 

🚧 Construction 🚧

NOUN + にとって

As you can see, the construction here is rather straightforward.

にとって follows a noun that refers to a person or group of people of some kind. 

 

In the next example, you might notice a slight addition to the grammar at hand. Can you see what it is?

1ヶ月は大人にとってあっという間かもしれないが、5歳の子供にとって永遠なのだ。
いっかげつ は おとな にとって は あっというま かもしれない が、 ごさい の こども にとって は えいえん なのだ。
To an adult, a month might seem like the blink of an eye, but to a five-year-old it’s like an eternity.
Literally: “one month + は + adult + にとって + は + in the blink of an eye / in a flash + might + but, + five-year-old + の + child + にとって + は + eternity + なのだ.”


Well, I guess it's highlighted for you so there's no real challenge here. ;) But good eye picking up on those highlighted sections!

In this example, にとって is used twice in the sentence, and both times it is followed by the particle . As we've seen in a previous JLPT N5 lesson, one of the uses of  is to compare two or more things, and here it is used just the same way. Since the speaker is comparing children to adults, he must use the altered version にとって to signify his or her comparison. 

Also, you'll notice that in this example, we are not only trying to describe the opinion of one individual, but the opinions of a group of people as a whole, namely, adults and then children. 

 

Okay. Now let's move on to another example that is slightly different and more complex than the ones we've seen so far. Take a look below. 

僕みたいにサーフィンが好きな人にとって、ハワイは天国なんです。
ぼく みたいに サーフィン が すきな ひと にとって、 ハワイ は てんごく なんです。
Hawaii is a paradise for people like me who enjoy surfing.
Literally: “I + like + に + surfing + が + liked + person + にとって, + Hawaii + は + paradise / heaven + なんです.”


In this example, we are not just trying to describe the opinion of (a person or people), which is the noun that immediately precedes にとって, but a more specific kind of person.

In this case, all the information that precedes is also pertinent to the sentence and the description at hand. So it's not only that Hawaii is a paradise for people but for people like me who enjoy surfing.  

 

So how did we all do with this one?

You might find that this grammar point is easier grasp than some of the others N3 ones. If not, try going through the examples and explanations one more time just to see if something inside you clicks the second time around.

I hope you all enjoyed this one!

お疲れ様でした!
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