340 - にひきかえ

Sometimes it feels likes studying for the JLPT is actually just studying 500 different ways to combine clauses.

And here we have yet another one:

JLPT N1: にひきかえ

The conjunction にひきかえ translates to something like "in contrast to."

An example:

おとなしかったにひきかえ、私はよく泣いて手のかかる子供だったそうです。
おとなしかった あね にひきかえ、 わたし は よく ないて てのかかる こども だった そうです。
In contrast to my sister, who was quiet and well-behaved, apparently I used to cry a lot as a kid and was quite a handful.
Literally: "was obedient/quiet/docile + older sister + にひきかえ, + I + は + often + cry (and) + was a handful (=hand + の + take up) + child + was + そうです (=hearsay marker)."
Note #1: The word 大人しい (おとなしい // obedient; docile; quiet), quite literally meaning "adult-like," is a bit hard to put into one word in English. So I went with "quiet and well-behaved."
Note #2: Although our example is using の, in a dictionary you will find the phrase 手がかかる (てがかかる // to take a lot to deal with; to be a handful).

So when we want to say:

In contrast to A, B.

Then we can say:

A にひきかえ, B.

Simple, yeah? Not so fast.


Usage

Overall, it's a pretty straightforward grammar point.

There is one thing to take caution with, though: にひきかえ is NOT used for objective observations.

So you CAN'T say: "In contrast to my sister, who is tall, I am short."

You can measure height with a ruler. That means it's an objective observation (i.e. not subjective).

And we can only use ひきかえ with subjective observations, like we saw above: "In contrast to my sister, who was well-behaved, I was a handful."

This contrast is measured by a person's thoughts and feelings. Therefore it is subjective and appropriate for にひきかえ.


Construction

A noun will always come directly before にひきかえ.

NOUN + ひきかえ

Sadly, though, it's not quite that simple. Remember how の can turn all kinds of things into nouns? No?

Bummer.

Well, let's say I want to put a na-adjective before にひきかえ.

We'll use the adjective 社交的 (しゃこうてき // sociable). Since we know that multiple-syllable words ending in ~的 (~てき) are always na-adjectives (or maybe I just now taught you this ^^), we know that this word is a na-adjective.

So we CANNOT say 社交的ひきかえ.

ひきかえ ain't messing with anybody but nouns. So if 社交的 wants to chill with ひきかえ, it needs to put on it's noun clothes. In other words, it needs to put の between it and ひきかえ:

社交的なのにひきかえ

We can do the same thing with an i-adjective, only (since it's not a な-adjective), we don't need to include な in these cases:

激しい(はげしい // intense; violent
激しかった(はげしかった // was intense; was violent

激しいのにひきかえ
激しかったのにひきかえ

If you're going to become a master of Japanese, you must be able to turn adjectives into nouns.

For example, someone asks you:

漢字は難しいですか。
かんじ は むずかしい ですか。
Is kanji difficult?
Literally: "kanji + は + difficult + ですか."

You can say:

難しいは文法です。
むずかしい のは ぶんぽうです。
What's difficult is grammar.
Literally: "difficult + のは + grammar + です."

See what we did there? We made an i-adjective, 難しい, into a noun by attaching の to the end of it. This then allowed us to use an i-adjective as the subject of our sentence.


Oops. Looks like I went off on a bit of a tangent there.

Back to your favorite thing in the world, N1 grammar:

娘は社交的なのにひきかえ、息子はひどい人見知りだ。
むすめ は しゃこうてきな の にひきかえ、 むすこ は ひどい ひとみしり だ。
Unlike my daughter, who is sociable, my son is extremely shy.
Literally: "daughter + は + sociable + の + にひきかえ, + son + は + terrible + shyness + だ."
Note: 人見知り is a very useful word to know in Japan. It does not just describe shyness. Rather, it can describe an overall aversion to / discomfort with meeting new people. Lots of Japanese people label themselves as 人見知り.


子どもの頃は食べ物の好き嫌いが激しかったのにひきかえ、大人になってからはなんでもおいしく食べるようになりました。
こども の ころ は たべもの の すききらい が はげしかった の にひきかえ、 おとな に なって から は なんでも おいしく たべる ように なりました。
When I was little I used to be extremely picky, but after growing up I learned to enjoy eating all kinds of foods.
Literally: "childhood (=child + の + [approximate] time) + は + food + の + likes and dislikes + が + was intense + の + にひきかえ, + adult + に + become + from + は + anything + delicious(ly) + eat + ように + became."

On a side note, this word 好き嫌い (すききらい) is very useful. For example, if someone is asking you what kinds of foods you can and cannot eat, you can say:

好き嫌いはあまりない。
すききらい は あまり ない。
I'm not too picky about what I eat.
Literally: "likes and dislikes + は + not very + don't have."

Last but not least we have:

わたしの弟はうちではこんなのにひきかえ、外ではとても礼儀正しい。
わたし の おとうと は うち で は こんな の にひきかえ、 そと で は とても れいぎただしい。
Although my little brother acts like this when we're at home, when we go places he is very polite.
Literally: "I + の + little brother + は + home + では + like this + の + にひきかえ, + outside + では + very + polite (=manners + correct)."

That's it for this one.

Happy studies, yo.

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