Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 9: 3/16


While ~ing, During, As

The subject of A and B must be the same.


Verb[ます+ ながら


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About ながら

ながら is another conjunction particle in Japanese that has two primary different meanings. These meanings are as follows:
同時(どうじ)(うご)き - Two things that are existing/happening simultaneously.
確定(かくてい)逆説(ぎゃくせつ) - Two things that are unexpectedly existing/happening simultaneously.
We will focus purely on the 同時(どうじ)(うご)き meaning in this grammar point. To use ながら, simply add it to the ます stem of verb (A), and then highlight verb (B) as part of the following clause. This may be translated simply as 'while' in English.
  • (わたし)毎日(まいにち)音楽(おんがく)()ながら(はし)ます
    I run every day, while listening to music.
  • 運転(うんてん)ながら携帯(けいたい)使(つか)ていたら(まえ)(くるま)にぶつかっ
    When I was using my phone while driving, I crashed into the car in front of me.
Grammatically, the (B) action is considered to be the 'important' action, while the (A) action expresses the timeline within which (B) takes place.
Due to the (B) action being considered the 'primary' action of something that (A) is related to, (A) and (B) must have the same subject.
  • 高校(こうこう)(ころ)サッカー練習(れんしゅう)ながら漢字(かんじ)勉強(べんきょう)
    When I was in high school, I studied kanji while also practicing soccer. (Natural Japanese, as the overall timeline of the sentence is 'while in high school')
  • 漢字(かんじ)勉強(べんきょう)ながらアニメ()
    I watch anime while studying kanji. (Natural Japanese, as the speaker is doing both things at the same time)
  • 大学(だいがく)(かよ)ながら、トランプ()アメリカ大統領(だいとうりょう)だった
    Trump was the president of America while I was going to university. (Unnatural Japanese. Although the events happen at the same time, they share no common subject/place)
Fun Fact
When used to express 確定(かくてい)逆説(ぎゃくせつ), ながら will be followed by . ながらも is a separate grammar point that we will learn more about later. In this construction, is expressing surprise about the fact that (A) and (B) coexist.
  • あそこ病院(びょういん)(ふる)ながらも(なか)綺麗(きれい)()いた
    I heard that that hospital looks nice inside, even though it is old.





    I watch my favorite TV show while eating dinner.


    The baby farted while sleeping.


    Let's get coffee while waiting for our friends.


    You must not use a cellphone while driving.


    While I was walking my dog, I was reading a book.

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      ながら – Grammar Discussion

      Most Recent Replies (10 in total)

      • deltacat3


        @Pushindawood Once again thank you kindly! Helpful as always!

      • deltacat3


        Apologies I have another question already ごめんね!

        Shadowing is repeating what you hear while listening to Japanese.

        What is the particle と expressing here?

      • Pushindawood


        @deltacat3 No problem! This is actually a grammar point that comes a bit later and is not just と, but the combination of と and は to make とは. “とは” means… well, “means,” and is a contraction of というのは. Perhaps a better translation for this sentence would be “Shadowing means…” or “Shadowing is the thing known as…” I apologize for the confusion. Here is our lesson on というのは and here is a video with a breakdown and some more examples. Cheers!

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