487 - あっての

Infinite praises to the creators of simple grammar forms.

They have bestowed a blessing upon us:


JLPT N1: あっての (couldn't exist without; comprised of)

When we want to emphasize that A could not exist without B, then we can say:

A あっての B.

Here's the best part about studying this grammar point: A and B will always be NOUNS.

NOUNあってのNOUN

I'm not 100% sure about how we should translate this, but typically I translate it to something along the lines of "A could not exist without B," "A could not have happened without B," "A was/is indispensable to B," and so on.

We're studying for N1 now, so hopefully we don't need to worry too much about the exact words we need in English. We can just think in Japanese!


Get through these four examples, and you'll have finished one of our shorter JLPT lessons (yay)...


ハープあってのです。ハープが弾けなくなったら、私は死んだも同然です。
ハープ あっての わたし です。 ハープ が ひけなく なったら、 わたし は しんだ も どうぜん です。
I couldn’t live without the harp. If I wasn’t able to play the harp anymore, it’d be the same to me as dying.
Literally: “harp + あっての + I + です. + harp + が + if it became that (I) could not play, + I + は + died + も + the same + です.”



社員あっての我が社です。ですから、働きやすい環境づくりに努めています。
しゃいん あっての わが しゃ です。 ですから、 はたらき やすい かんきょうづくり に つとめています。
Our company could not exist without our employees. Accordingly, we are working hard to create an environment in which it is pleasant to work.
Literally: “company employees + あっての + our company + です. + therefore, + easy to work + creating an environment + に + are making an effort.”



私の成功は家族の支えあってのことですから、家族には感謝の気持ちでいっぱいです。
わたし の せいこう は かぞく の ささえ あっての こと です から、 かぞく に は かんしゃ の きもち で いっぱい です。
I could not have achieved my success without my family’s support, so I am filled with gratitude for them.
Literally: “I + の + success + は + family + の + support + あっての + thing + ですから, + family + には + gratitude / thanks + の + feeling + で + full + です.”



恋愛は相手あってのことだから、時には妥協が必要だ。
れんあい は あいて あっての こと だから、 ときには だきょう が ひつよう だ。
You can’t have love without a partner, so occasionally compromises are necessary.
Literally: “(romantic) love + は + partner / companion + あっての + thing + だから, + occasionally / at times + compromise + が + necessary + だ.”



Agh! A quiz?!

Just to check how closely you're reading those sentences above, see if you can read and understand these phrases:

ハープあってのです
社員あっての我が社です
私の成功は家族の支えあってのことです
恋愛は相手あってのこと

Passing N1 means being able to read phrases like that. So if you're struggling, you might want to scroll back to the beginning and go through this one again.

Oh, and just so you know...

You あっての NihongoShark ですよ.

Thanks for reading!

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