Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 10: 17/20

far from, anything but

Verb(1) + どころか
[い]Adjective + どころか
[な]Adjective + + どころか
Noun + どころか

Register Standard
使用域 一般
どころか is a combination of the 名詞(めいし) (noun) ところ ‘place’, and the 終助詞(しゅうじょし) か. The change from ところ to どころ is a consistent sound change that is seen regularly in sentences that use 所(ところ) negatively.
どころか may be translated as ‘far from’, ‘let alone’ or ‘anything but’. It strongly negates any statement before it, while also emphasizing what comes after it.
どころか may be paired with the 連体形(れんたいけい) (attributive form) of any other word. However, this is not a strict rule, as it can also be seen with the 語幹(ごかん) stem form of な-Adjectives, and directly attached to nouns.
  • このカレーは甘(あま)いどころか、辛(から)かった。
    Far from being sweet, this curry was spicy.
  • 北海道(ほっかいどう)は寒(さむ)いどころか、暑(あつ)かった。
    Far from being cold, Hokkaido was hot.
  • 昨日(きのう)仕事(しごと)は楽(らく)などころか、めちゃくちゃ大変(たいへん)だったよ。
    Far from being easy, work yesterday was hectic.
  • 彼女(かのじょ)は酎(ちゅう)ハイどころかビールも飲(の)まない。
    Let alone Chuhai, she doesn't even drink beer.
Sentences that use どころか must always have a part (B) that emphasizes some type of far more important information (in the speaker's opinion).
Fun Fact
As か simply transforms どころ into either a question, or a statement of doubt, the literal translation of どころか is similar to ‘it’s not even remotely (A)’ as a statement, or ‘do you honestly think it’s (A)!?’, when asking a direct question.
  • そんなにゆっくりしているどころか
    This is not the time to be even remotely that relaxed!
  • 俺(おれ)やるどころか?そんなことやるは弟(おとうと)しかいないだろ!
    Do you honestly think I would do such a thing? My brother is the only person who would do that.
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Far from taking a break, he gave everything he had.
Far from being sweet, that cake was sour.
Far from going to Europe, he hasn’t even taken a step outside.
Quartet II
Page 42
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 316