Grammar Info
N2 Lesson 5: 17/18

not only... but also, let alone, of course,

Noun + もとより + Phrase
Verb + こと(1) + もとより + Phrase

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使用域 硬い
は元(もと)より, commonly seen purely in hiragana, is a grammar pattern that indicates ‘not only (A), but also (B) ’, or ‘let alone (A), (B)’. This construction is just a combination of は, the noun 元(もと) ‘origin’, and より. In this way, it is just highlighting that ‘even compared to the original fact of (A), (B)’. Often, (A) will be something that is considered obvious, or the most well known information in regard to the topic.
はもとより may appear after nouns, or verb phrases that have been nominalized with の or こと.
  • この商店街(しょうてんがい)は地元(じもと)の人(ひと)はもとより、全国(ぜんこく)からの観光客(かんこうきゃく)で賑(にぎ)わっています。
    This arcade is crowded with not only locals, but also tourists from all over the country.
  • 最近(さいきん)の車(くるま)は自動(じどう)運転(うんてん)ができるのはもとより、自動(じどう)駐車(ちゅうしゃ)もできるそうだ。
    They say that modern cars can not only drive automatically, but also park automatically.
  • この学校(がっっこう)では日本語(にほんご)が上手(じょうず)になることはもとより、日本(にほん)でのマナーや文化(ぶんか)を理解(りかい)できる授業(じゅぎょう)が行(おこな)われています。
    The school offers classes that not only help students become proficient in Japanese, but also give them an understanding of Japanese manners and culture.
Alternatively, はもとより may be used in structures where it is simply showing that (A) is the base from which (B) is also a fact. Although this may sound similar to the previous meaning, it translates closer to ‘from the start, (A) is (B)’, or ‘by nature, (A) is (B)’. Which meaning is being used will usually be clear in the context of the overall sentence.
  • このテストはもとより、合格(ごうかく)できるとは思(おも)っていなかった。
    I did not think that I could pass this test from the start.
  • 親(おや)は自分(じぶん)の子供(こども)を守(まも)るのはもとより、何(なに)不自由(ふじゆう)ない生活(せいかつ)をしてほしいに違(ちが)いない。
    By nature, parents want to protect their children and want them to live a comfortable life.
  • 失敗(しっぱい)をすることはもとより覚悟(かくご)をしていたので、そんなに悔(くや)しくない。
    I was prepared for failure, from the start, so I am not that disappointed.
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