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.

  • そのこと以外(いがい)()ついていなかった

    I didn't notice anything other than that.

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いがい – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (8 in total)

  • MikkaT


    About 4 days ago

    Hi, what does this part in the sentences mean or does it come from a grammar point?

  • nekoyama


    About 3 days ago

    The adverb こう means “like this”. Like これ/それ/あれ/どれ there are こう/そう/ああ/どう.

    こう見えても as a whole means something like “despite appearances”.

  • MikkaT


    About 3 days ago

    Thank you. I’ve never seen it in that combination before.

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