160 - Today's Word of Choice, Part 2

Hey there fellow netizens!

So today we will pick up from where we left off. Did you manage to figure out the difference between the similar expressions?

Let's take a better look at two of the examples I gave you:

Example 1:
こども の よう に わらう。
(To) laugh like a child.
Literally: 'Child + like + laugh'

Example 3:
わすれない よう に めも を とる。
To take notes so that (you) don't forget.
Literally: 'Not forget + so that + notes + を + take'

To be honest, though, I did play a little dirty and put some unnecessary spaces between the hiragana...

The expressions actually look like this:

In example 1, we have the expression 'のように/like, similar to'.
In example 3, we have the expression 'ように/in order to, so that'.

Noun + のように + Verb

Whoa, these expressions are starting to turn into full sentences, we're going hardcore! On the bright side, if you manage to master the formula, you will be able to easily pop natural-sounding Japanese into the conversation.

It's used when you want to describe something/someone by using a comparison.

I'll give you an example that we also have in English:

かぜ のように はしる。
(To) run like the wind.
Literally: 'Wind + like + run'

Note: This expression can be used with longer, more complex sentences, not only with the standard 'Noun + のように + verb' formula, that we won't get into today. Just remember to keep your mind open for other possibilities of use.

Something + ように + Verb

In this case 'ように' means 'so that, in order to'

Before we get in too deep, let me explain a little about the nature of this expression.
It is used in situations when you have no complete control of the outcome. When you do X so that/in order to Y, you don't have a guaranteed result, just a desired outcome.

So you can say:
ちこく しない ように はやく でかける。
(To) leave early so that (you) won't be late.
Literally: 'Late + not be + so that + early + leave'.

Because you have no control of whether you'll be late or not even if you leave early.

But you can't say:
たべる ように がんばる。
(To) try your best so that you will eat.
Literally: 'eat + so that + do one's best / work hard'.

You don't use ように with 食べる(たべる // to eat), because you can control whether you eat (I hope). As you'll see below, verbs like this only work in potential form. In other words, it only works with verbs out of your control.

...Phew, just writing that sentence got me exhausted, let's stop for a breather:

This expression is often used with negation:

Verb (+ negation / ない) + ように + Verb
Basically, it's used with the meaning of 'Do X so that you don't Y'

Now here was that example:

わすれない よう に めも を とる。
To take notes (X) so that (you) don't forget (Y).
Literally: 'Not forget + so that + notes + を + take'

This is a good example because it seems to be in the 'gray area' of the rule mentioned earlier. Still, it doesn't break it, because 1) it's not like 'not forgetting' is a clearly set objective like getting fit or passing a test, and 2) because even if you take notes you could still forget. I can't even count the number of times that I scribbled notes in my notebook only to stare blankly at them with no idea of what they mean when I wanted to review the subject.

Something + (become able to do) + ように + なりたい
(I) want to become able to do X (something)

I actually don't know where to register this on the scale between 'set expression' and 'normal sentence', but I have heard it pretty often and I think it would be of good use to you guys. As it is used to express the desire of the speaker, it doesn't follow the rule of the previous expression, so it's best to learn it separately.

にほんご が はなせる ように なりたい。
I want to become able to speak Japanese.
Literally: 'Japanese + が + be able to speak + ように + want to become'

A direct translation for 'ように' used in this way is... well.. nonexistent. sorry.
The dictionary explains it with 'to desire or wish for something' but this is a stretched translation that actually explains the meaning of the whole sentence and not the 'ように' in itself.

My closest translation is 'ように/the state of', as in 'I wish to reach the state ofbeing able to do X'.

Note: the verb that comes before the 'ように' is 99% of the time in potential form.

寝れる/ ねれる/ be able to sleep
話せる/ はなせる/ be able to speak
歩ける/ あるける/ be able to walk

One last example:

からい もの たべれる ように なりたい。
I want to become able to eat spicy stuff.
Literally: 'Spicy + stuff + be able to eat + ように + want to become.'
Note: Technically the potential form for 食べる(たべる) is 食べれる(たべられる), and 寝る(ねる) is 寝れる(ねられる), but it is common to drop the ら in these words: 食べれる(たべれる), 寝れる(ねれる). These are called ら抜き言葉(らぬきことば // "ra-removed words").

Whoa, are those whole chillies? And in a salad? Who eats that? Well thank you, but I like my taste buds alive.

That was it for today. Good thing we managed to solve together the mysteries of this elusive ように word. Maybe next lesson we'll try to relax and do something a little more fun. You know what they say... All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!

See you next time!

This lesson was written by Adriana, a guest contributor.

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