Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 5: 8/20


Except・besides, Other than, With the exception of


Verb + 以外(いがい)
Noun + 以外(いがい)


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About いがい

In order to mark something as 'except (A)', or 'besides (A)', 以外(いがい) will be used. This construction is a combination of the kanji () which means 'by means of', and (がい) 'outside'. This expression can most accurately be translated as 'with the exception of (A)', or 'everything outside of (A)'.
To use 以外(いがい), attach it to the thing that you want to highlight as being the 'all inclusive' amount/area.
  • 今日(きょう)和食(わしょく)いがいもの()たい
    Today I want to eat something other than Japanese food.
  • タロウゲームいがい趣味(しゅみ)ある
    Taro, do you have any other interests besides gaming?
Fun Fact
以外(いがい) is also regularly used simply as an expression of surprise, when someone sees, hears, or reads something that is 'outside' of what they expected. However, in these cases, the more correct kanji construction is 意外(いがい) 'out of mind'. This is a regular mistake that even native speakers make, so in many cases, either 意外(いがい) or 以外(いがい) would be understandable.
  • たかし(くん)アニメ()なの?ちょっといがい
    Takashi-kun, do you like anime too? I'm a little surprised.
  • (おれ)こう()ても意外(いがい)(にく)()ない
    It may come off as a surprise based on how I look, but I don't eat meat.



  • メアリー以外(いがい)(だれ)()なかった

    No one except Mary came.

    • (いま)まで漢字(かんじ)以外(いがい)(なに)勉強(べんきょう)していなかった

      Until now, I haven't been studying anything except kanji.

      • それ以外(いがい)()いてない

        I haven't heard anything other than that.

        • 納豆(なっとう)以外(いがい)(なん)でも()べられる

          I can eat anything other than natto.

          • (かれ)()れたこと以外(いがい)(なに)しない

            He will not do anything other than what he is told.

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            いがい – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (12 in total)

            • IcyIceBear


              Only one particle there, the first の. Following that is もの as in 物 thing. 以外の物 “a thing other than”

            • ixxie


              AHA! it makes perfect sense now! Thank you!

            • Wooper


              I like that the “Fun Fact” points out 意外 as a different いがい than 以外, but when I read the tip
              以外いがい is also regularly used simply as an expression of surprise”
              it makes it sound like 以外 is correct kanji… feel like it could be worded better.

              I wonder if might also be useful to note that you can easily tell the difference when spoken because they have different pitch accents? i.e. with 以外 falling on the い and 意外 going up on the い.

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