Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 1: 15/21


Nothing but, None other than, Simply


Noun + ほかならない(1)



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About にほかならない

(ほか)ならない is a grammar pattern used with verbs to indicate that something is 'definitely (A)', or 'nothing but (A)'. Other common translations are 'none other than (A)', or 'simply (A)'.
This expression is often used to emphasize statements, reasons, or causes.
  • かすみさんがみんなに()かれるのはお(ひと)よしだから(ほか)ならない
    The reason why Kasumi-san is liked by everyone is simply because she is a good person.
  • こんな(よる)(おそ)くに訪問(ほうもん)してくるなんて迷惑(めいわく)(ほか)ならない
    Visiting me at such a late time is nothing but a nuisance.
Being a combination of the noun (ほか) 'other' and the negated form of the う-Verb なる 'to become'. This phrase literally just states that (A) will not become anything other than what it is, as the given definition is already the most accurate.
Caution - In formal situations, particularly formal writing, (ほか)ならぬ may also sometimes be seen.
  • Aチームがこの大会(たいかい)優勝(ゆうしょう)できたのは岡村(おかむら)コーチのおかげにほかならぬ
    The reason why team A was able to win this tournament is simply because of coach Okamura.
  • ()(しゃ)商品(しょうひん)人気(にんき)なのは広告(こうこく)印象的(いんしょうてき)だからにほかならぬ
    The reason our company's products are popular is simply because our advertisements leave a lasting impression.


  • わが(しゃ)今年度(こんねんど)多大(ただい)利益(りえき)顧客(こきゃく)のおかげにほかなりません

    Our company's tremendous profit for this fiscal year is thanks to none other than our customers.

  • タイタニック(ごう)沈没(ちんぼつ)(てい)品質(ひんしつ)なリベットに()ったものにほかならない

    The sinking of the Titanic was caused by nothing but low quality rivets.

  • 通常(つうじょう)事故(じこ)原因(げんいん)はスピード違反(いはん)にほかならない

    The common cause of the accidents is simply people going too fast.

  • 学校(がっこう)校長(こうちょう)生徒(せいと)(たい)した演説(えんぜつ)

    School director's speech to students: 'Who is responsible for your future? That is none other than yourself.'

  • (さん)()という結果(けっか)(かれ)実力(じつりょく)にほかならない

    Getting (the result of) 3rd was simply due to his skill.

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にほかならない – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (2 in total)

  • Bruinvis


    In the following sentence:


    “にほかならない” is used after the particle から, but in the structure section it reads:

    Noun + にほかならない (1)

    There’s no mention of this grammar point being able to connect to the から particle / a reason.
    I think it might be good to include this in the structure section.

  • Pablunpro



    In the explanation of this grammar point, it says that “に他ならない is a grammar pattern used with verbs to indicate that…” though the pattern is then shown to be used with nouns.

    Further to this, I see in the JGram link that other constructions are possible:

    PLAIN FORMS (Verb, i/na Adjectives, Noun) + にほかならない

    • But in case of Noun and na-Adjective だ is not added
    • There are also Noun/na-Adjective + である
    • when expressing reason から can also be added

    In particular, the last one (addition of から) can be seen in the example sentences provided in the grammar point, as already pointed out by Bruinvis.

    Finally, examples are given of the use of this pattern with verbs by nominalizing them with もの.

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