Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 2: 13/17

であれ

Even if, Even, No matter

Structure

Noun + であれ
[な]Adjective + であれ
WH-Word + であれ

Details

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    Formal

  • 使用域

    硬い

About であれ

Functioning as an extension of であれ, the formal copula that is a combination of the conjunctive form of the auxiliary verb だ, and the う-Verb ある, であれ or であろうと will be used in order to express strong will or conviction.
あれ is simply the imperative form of ある, while あろうと is the positive volitional form combined with the case-marking particle と. Both structures are usually translated as 'even if (A), (B)', or 'no matter if (A), (B)'. Despite this, the more literal meaning of each is closer to 'so it's (A), (B) still won't be affected'. This just emphasizes the fact that (A) is of no relation to the result, like saying 'so what if it is' in English.
Both であれ and であろうと will primarily attach to nouns in sentences that express some kind of question or assumption through words like どんな or たとえ.
  • 子供(こども)であれ法律(ほうりつ)(まも)らなくてはいけない。
    Even if you are a child, you still need to obey the law.
  • 理由(りゆう)(なん)であれ家族(かぞく)友達(ともだち)裏切(うらぎ)るのはよくないと(おも)う。
    No matter the reason, I don't think it is right to betray your family and friends.
  • いくらあなたが年上(としうえ)であろうと、ここでは一応(いちおう)(わたし)先輩(せんぱい)なので(わたし)()うことに(したが)ってください。
    No matter how much older you are, I am your superior here so please do as I say.
  • 上司(じょうし)からのメール:インフルエンザであろうと会社(かいしゃ)にはきてください。
    Email from one's boss: 'Even if you have the flu, please come to work.'
As both であれ and であろうと use structures that indicate strong will, these grammar patterns will frequently be used in sentences where the speaker is expressing their opinions or resolutions.

Examples

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    友人(ゆうじん)(いえ)であれ訪問時(ほうもんじ)(くつ)()ぐことが、基本的(きほんてき)礼儀(れいぎ)です。

    Even if it is a friend's house, taking shoes off when visiting are basic manners.

    小説(しょうせつ):「どのような状況(じょうきょう)であれ()げることは(ゆる)されない。」

    Novel: 'No matter the circumstances, running away is unforgivable.'

    たとえ(こおり)のように純粋(じゅんすい)であれ世界(せかい)(あく)からは(まぬが)れられないだろう。

    Even if one is as pure as ice, it seems that one cannot avoid the evil of the world.

    (だれ)であれ(すべ)ての人々(ひとびと)同様(どうよう)()ぬ。

    No matter who you are, all people die similarly.

    たとえ(ちい)さなものであれ検察官(けんさつかん)賄賂(わいろ)()()るわけにはいかない。

    Even if it is just a small thing, the public prosecutor must not accept a bribe.

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