Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 10: 18/22


Of all people, Such,


Noun + ともあろう + もの(1) +

(1) 方、人


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About ともあろう

ともあろう is a grammatical structure in Japanese which highlights either the skill or responsibility that a particular person or organization has, and what they are doing despite that, or that contradicts that. It will be interpreted as ‘(A) of all people’, or ‘such as (A)’. Often, ともあろう will be followed by the speaker's opinion about how (A) is being ignorant of what is expected of them.
This construction is a combination of the case-marking particle と, the adverbial particle も, and the volitional form of the う-Verb ある, あろう ‘to be’. The literal meaning is ‘even a (B) such as (A), (C)’, with (C) being something unexpected or unwanted. ともあろう will be seen after nouns, and may be followed by the conjunction particle が ‘but’, or a combination of the noun もの and が for further emphasis.
  • 有名(ゆうめい)大学(だいがく)教授(きょうじゅ)ともあろう(ひと)が、ろくに敬語(けいご)使(つか)えないなんておかしい。
    Of all people, it is strange that a professor of a famous university cannot even use keigo properly.
  • 教会(きょうかい)牧師(ぼくし)さんともあろう(かた)が、詐欺(さぎ)逮捕(たいほ)されるなんてショックすぎる。
    I am so shocked that the pastor of a church of all people was arrested for fraud.
  • 警察(けいさつ)ともあろうものが違法(いほう)薬物(やくぶつ)使用(しよう)していたなんて(しん)じられない。
    I can’t believe that a police officer of all people was using an illegal substance.
もの is primarily used for emphasis, and other words such as (かた) ‘individual’, or (ひと) ‘person’ may also be used.
Occasionally, this grammar pattern may be used sarcastically towards someone of the same position or lower. The context of the sentence is the only thing that would clarify whether it is criticism or sarcasm.
  • 高橋(たかはし)さんともあろう(かた)がこんな簡単(かんたん)なことができないなんて、(めすら)しいですね。
    Takahashi-san, it is so rare that a person such as yourself can’t do something so simple. (Sarcastic)


  • この田中(たなか)さんともあろうものがくだらないミスをしてしまった。

    For Mr. Tanaka of all people to make such a silly mistake.

  • (だい)自然(しぜん)保護(ほご)することを()びかけている国会(こっかい)議員(ぎいん)ともあろうものが砂浜(すなはま)にごみを()らかすとは(しん)じられない。

    Of all people, It is unbelievable that a member of the Diet who calls for the protection of nature would litter at the beach.

  • 乱世(らんせい)(とき)にこんなふざけた言動(げんどう)があるだろうか。議員(ぎいん)ともあろうものが

    A joke like this in such turbulent times? And from a member of parliament of all people

  • 上司(じょうし)部下(ぶか)(さか)(もと)に:「(きみ)ともあろう優秀(ゆうしゅう)部下(ぶか)こんなミスをするなんて。なぜあんなことを?」

    Superior to his subordinate, Sakamoto: 'I cannot believe that of all people, brilliant subordinate such as you would make this kind of mistake. Why did you do such a thing?'

  • ファンタジー映画(えいが):「 (かしこ)いウィザードともあろう(もの)いつ正気(しょうき)(うしな)った?」

    Fantasy movie: 'When did the wise wizard of all people lose all sanity?'

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