Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 8: 18/22


At least, It's better than..., One should feel grateful for


Verb + だけまし +
[い]Adjective + だけまし +
[な]Adjective + + だけまし +


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About だけましだ

だけましだ is a set phrase indicating that 'at least (A)', or that 'one should feel grateful for (A)'. This expression is often used in cases where the overall situation is negative, but it is still better than the alternative. This structure is a combination of the particle だけ 'only', and the な-Adjective ()し, meaning 'better', or 'preferable'. Originally, まし is just the conjunctive form of ()す, an う-Verb meaning to grow or increase (like ()える). Due to this, the literal meaning is 'even just (A) is a plus, compared to what could have occured'.
だけましだ will be used primarily after verbs, い-Adjectives, or な-Adjectives followed by な.
  • 天気(てんき)はあまり()くないが、(ひさ)しぶりに旅行(りょこう)()れただけましだ
    Although the weather isn't the best, I should be grateful that I am able to travel for the first time in a long time.
  • このアパートはボロボロだけど、職場(しょくば)(ちか)だけましだ
    This apartment is a wreck, but at least it is close to my work place.
  • 味覚(みかく)はないかもしれないが、元気(げんき)だけましだ
    Although I can't taste, at least I am feeling well.
In the vast majority of cases, まし will simply be written in hiragana, or even katakana as マシ. The katakana version often further emphasizes that one should be grateful for (A).
Caution - Although not as common, だけまだましだ may also be seen. As can be seen by the addition of まだ 'still', this form merely emphasized the point even further.
  • 今日(きょう)はいつもより(さむ)いけど、(かぜ)()いていないだけまだましだ
    It is colder than usual today, but at least it's not windy.




    Since such a big accident occured, you should be grateful that you are still alive.


    My husband doesn't even cook. At least your husband cooks for you.


    A robber broke in, but I should be grateful that the safe is intact.


    His way of doing it is overbearing, but you should be grateful that he isn't violent.


    It can't be said that that lecturer's way of teaching is good, but at least the characters they write on the chalkboard are nice.

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だけましだ – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (3 in total)

  • FredKore


    Can someone explain the form of the verb 振 in this sentence?
    彼はやり方が強引だが、暴力を振るわない だけましです
    I don’t understand 振るわない.
    …Maybe it should be は?
    If it is, is it being used like this, “at least”?

  • Pushindawood


    @FredKore Hey! In this case, 振るう is a verb meaning “to exercise,” “to wield,” “to exhibit,” or “to display” violence. So, this example sentence is probably closer to “You should be glad that he does not exhibit violence in his (overbearing) way of doing things.” Cheers!

  • FredKore


    Oh!! I was thinking 振る. What a weird verb. Good vocab word though.
    Thanks for the explanation!

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