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~ばかり

~ばかり

Today’s Question

Which one is the odd one?

a. 一週間いっしゅうかんぐらい東京とうきょうってきます。
b.一週間いっしゅうかんこそ 東京とうきょうってきます。
c. 一週間いっしゅうかんばかり東京とうきょうってきます。
d. 一週間いっしゅうかんほど 東京とうきょうってきます。

Today’s Grammar Point: ~ばかり

~ばかり is another particle used to describe the range or extent of a condition. For ~ばかり which means “to have just done ~”, read this post.

When it’s used with a number

~ばかり is often used with a number. This ~ばかり means “approximately” and it is interchangeable with ~ぐらい/くらい or ~ほど.

Connection

  • [number] + [counter] ばかり

Examples

一週間いっしゅうかんばかり東京とうきょうってきます。(Today’s question sentence)
一週間いっしゅうかんぐらい東京とうきょうってきます。
一週間いっしゅうかんほど東京とうきょうってきます。
I’m going to Tokyo and stay there for about a week.

ケアンズへは10万円じゅうまんえんばかりけます。
ケアンズへは10万円じゅうまんえんぐらいけます。
ケアンズへは10万円じゅうまんえんほどけます。
You can go to Cairns for approximately 100 000 yen.

ばかり indicating limitation or confinement

~ばかり can indicate that something is limited or that the same thing happens so many times that it seems nothing else happens. For this meaning, we often use “only” in the translation, but while だけ literally means “only” and excludes everything else, ばかり indicates “something happens repeatedly almost always” or “there are so many of the same kind to the extent that we can’t see any other kind.”

Connection

  • [noun] ばかり
  • [plain form verb] ばかり

Examples

そればかりではない。
≒それだけではない。
That is not all.

わたしばかりがいつも悪者わるものあつかいされる。
It’s always me who gets blamed.
わたしだけがいつも悪者わるものあつかいされる。
It’s only me and nobody else who gets blamed.

ジョンさんはごはんばかりべる。
John eats just rice (and almost nothing else.)
ジョンさんはごはんだけべる。
John eats nothing but rice.

あとばかりだ。
I’ve done everything else and I’m ready to go to bed.
あとだけだ。
I’ve done everything else and only thing I (have to) do now is to go to bed.

ばかり indicating an action a person does all the time

If ~ばかり is used after the てform of a verb, that indicates the action is repeated all the time to the extend that the person does nothing else. Although you can translate the sentence using the English “only,” you cannot substitute ばかり with だけ as だけ cannot follow the てform of a verb.

Connection

  • [てform verb] ばかり

Examples

エイミーさんはいてばかりだった.
She did nothing but cry.

ジョンさんはほんんでばかりいる。
John does nothing but read books.

Answer to Today’s Question: b

一週間いっしゅうかんこそ 東京とうきょうってきます。 is actually an awkward sentence. By adding この at the beginning, この一週間いっしゅうかんこそ 東京とうきょうってきます can be a proper sentence that means “It is in this one week when I’m definitely going to Tokyo!”

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