Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 3: 2/17


Exist only because of or due to, Owe everything to

が is usually omitted


Noun (A) + ()+ あっ + Noun (B)


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About あっての

あっての is a pattern which emphasizes that (B) is something that only exists because of (A). It will often be translated as '(B) owes everything to (A)', or '(B) existing is only due to (A)'. This structure is a combination of the う-Verb ある 'to be' in its て-form, and the case-marking particle の.
あっての will be preceded and followed directly by nouns, where the first noun is (A), and the second noun is (B).
  • 客様(きゃくさま)あっての仕事(しごと)だと(おも)うのですが、理不尽(りふじん)なクレームを()われるとちょっとイラっときます。
    My job only exists because of the customers, but I get a little annoyed when people make unreasonable complaints.
  • 今回(こんかい)皆様(みなさま)努力(どりょく)あっての結果(けっか)です。皆様(みなさま)本当(ほんとう)にありがとうございました。
    This time, the results are because of your efforts. Thank you very much.
あっての will primarily be used when (B) is something that benefits positively from (A), and therefore is showing or should show some kind of gratitude toward it.
Occasionally, the case-marking particle が will come between the (A) noun and あっての. However, it is often omitted.
  • (わたし)はお(かね)がなかったら(あい)もない、お(かね)あっての(しあわ)せだと(おも)います。
    I think that love exists only because of money, and without money there is no love.
Fun Fact
あっての can be thought of as an evolution of the basic grammar structure がある 'to have'. The main difference being that の allows (B) to be marked as the thing that has (A), while the て-form indicates that there is more information that will be given later about why this is important. Due to this information that comes later being important, (B) will almost always be followed by structures like から, or ので.




    'I can only exist because of you. My life would be meaningless without you.' (owe everything to)


    I guess he is dropping out of university only because some sort of reason exists.


    Manager to employees: 'You must not forget that the amusement park exists only because of the customers.'

    ベストセラー作者(さくしゃ)演説(えんぜつ):「 (わたし)(ほん)は、家族(かぞく)(ささ)あってのものです。息子(むすこ)(おっと)がいなければここまでやってこれなかったと(おも)います。」

    Best Selling author's speech: 'My books exist only because of the support from my family. I believe, if it was not for my son and husband, I would not have gotten this far.' (owe everything to)


    I understand that you are sad because your stamp collection was destroyed in the fire, but getting out of there with your life is more important than anything. 'While there is life, there is hope,' right? (only exist because of)

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