Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 3: 5/22

ばかりだ

(Only) continue to, Keep on -ing, More and more

ばっかり, ばっか, ばかし, and ばっかし are all fairly common casual variations of ばかり

Structure

Verb[る]+ ばかり
Verb[る]+ ばかりで + Phrase

Details

  • Register

    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About ばかりだ

Occasionally, the adverbial particle ばかり is combined with verbs in their attributive form, to show that (A) is the only thing that is occuring. It may also imply that (A) is happening 'more and more', or that 'it keeps on (A)'. This phrase utilizes ばかり's standard meaning of 'only', and combines it with the auxiliary verb (or です).
  • ガソリン値段(ねだん)()がっていくばかりだ
    The price of gas keeps rising.
  • 最近(さいきん)全然(ぜんぜん)(からだ)(きた)えていないから筋肉(きんにく)なくなっていくばかりだ
    Recently I haven't been working out, so I keep on losing muscle.
  • 日本(にほん)人口(じんこう)()ばかりです
    Japan's population continues to drop.
  • この(へん)犯罪(はんざい)(おお)ので治安(ちあん)(わる)くなるばかりです
    Because there are so many crimes around here, the public safety of the area continues to get worse.
As can be seen with these sentences, this use of ばかり is paired almost exclusively with verbs that describe some form of change (higher/lower, stronger/weaker, better/worse, faster/slower, etc).
If the speaker would like to express further information in a (B) part of the sentence, will simply get changed to its conjunctive form で, before continuing.
  • この(まち)治安(ちあん)(わる)くなるばかりで、しばらく()くなりそうもない
    The reputation of this town keeps on getting worse, and it doesn't look like it will get better anytime soon.
  • 観光客(かんこうきゃく)()ばかりで(まわ)(みせ)(つぶ)れていっている
    The amount of tourists keeps on dropping, and the stores around us are closing.
Caution
This use of ばかり is primarily seen with negative trends. However, this is not a grammatical rule, and positive trends may also sometimes appear with ばかりだ.
  • 毎日(まいにち)(よる)(おそ)まで(はたら)ているから(つか)たまっていくばかりだ
    Because I work until late at night everyday, I keep getting more exhausted.
  • 病院(びょういん)()てから体調(たいちょう)()くなっていくばかりだ
    Ever since I changed hospitals, my health keeps on getting better.

Examples

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  • 最近(さいきん)、ビットコインの価値(かち)()がっていくばかりだ

    Recently, the price of bitcoin keeps on dropping.

    • (がん)のため、(からだ)(よわ)っていくばかりです

      Because of the cancer, my body continues to get weaker.

      • 夏休(なつやす)になってから、日本語(にほんご)(わす)れていくばかりだ

        I have been continuously forgetting Japanese since summer vacation started.

        • 値段(ねだん)()がるばかりで(やす)なる気配(けはい)がない。

          The price only continues to go up and there is no indication of it ever going down.

          • ほうっておけば(わる)なるばかりだ。なんとかしないと。

            If I continue on like this it will get even worse. I must do something...

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            ばかりだ – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (8 in total)

            • wrt7MameLZE33wlmpCAV

              wrt7MameLZE33wlmpCAV

              Thanks very much, @nekoyama. Sure enough, I found it in Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar under the 一方 entry, just as you said. It even gives ますます as a related entry, which most certainly would translate as “more and more” in the right context. I stand corrected! I appreciate the other references, too. I can see I need to start consulting more Japanese primary sources.

              Looks like I need to add another card to my deck to cover this. I suppose, apart from 一方だ being more formal, the two are otherwise cognatively equivalent when used in this sense? Maybe I can consolidate that into a single card.

            • mrnoone

              mrnoone

              Hey @wrt7MameLZE33wlmpCAV

              Another difference is that ばかり is generally used with negative trends, while 一方 can be used with both, negative and positive trends.

              NEGATIVE
              怪我はひどくなるばかりだ。
              怪我はひどくなる一方だ。
              The injury keeps on getting worse.

              POSITIVE
              アイテムコストが下がる一方だ。
              The costs per item keeps on going down.

              Also, 一方 can be also used with certain nouns expressing trends, while ばかり cannot.

              WITH NOUNS
              Bitcoin価格は騰貴の一方だ。
              Price of bitcoin keeps on rising.

            • Dsingis

              Dsingis

              I’m having some real trouble understanding the difference between ばかり and つつある.

              The review sentences seem so similar, yet I always use ばかり when it wants to hear つつある and vice versa.

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