Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 3: 7/23

ばかりに
simply because, only because, just because, simply on account of

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[た]+ ばかりに
[い]Adjective + ばかりに
[な]Adjective + (1) + ばかりに
Noun + (1) + ばかりに

(1) である
Details
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Information
When paired with the 格助詞(かくじょし) (adverbial particle) , ばかり regularly conveys the meaning of ‘simply because’, or ‘just because’. Literally, this expression means that ‘even with just (A), (B) is/was able to occur’. This phrase is regularly paired with the past form of verbs, indicating that something that has already taken place, led to some other result.
To use ばかりに, simply attach the expression to the end of any word in its 連体形(れんたいけい) (attribuitive form).
  • ボールキャッチしたばかり、肩(かた)外(はず)れました。
    Simply because I caught a ball, I dislocated my shoulders.
  • 体(からだ)小(ちい)さいばかりに、クラスメイトいじめられた。
    Simply because I am small, my classmates bullied me.
  • 彼(かれ)は練習(れんしゅう)大変(たいへん)なばかりに、部活(ぶかつ)やめることにした。
    Simply because practice was difficult, he decided to quit.
  • 新人(しんじん)であるばかりに、先輩(せんぱい)たちやりくない仕事(しごと)押(お)し付(つ)けられた。
    Simply because I am new, my senpai made me do all the work they didn't want to.
It should be noted that this particular grammar pattern has a strong tendency to be used with results that are negative. However, this is not a requirement. A high level of eagerness/enthusiasm can also be expressed when paired with grammar points like たい, or ほしい.
  • 釣(つ)りに行(い)きたいばかりに、仕事(しごと)休(やす)んで海(うみ)に行(い)った
    Simply because he wanted to go fish, he took a day off of work and went to the ocean.
  • 新(あたら)しい車(こと)が欲(ほ)しいばかりに、貯金(ちょきん)全部(ぜんぶ)使(つか)った。
    Just because I wanted a new car, I used all my savings.
Fun Fact
As we mention in our ばかり grammar point, one of the more common kanji that ばかり stems from is ‘許’, which means to be ‘let off’ or ‘let through’. It implies a minimum amount of something that is then deemed as ‘permissible’. This nuance is kept in ばかりに, as the (A) part of the sentence is being highlighted as that minimum extent of something for which the (often surprising) result of (B) is/was possible. Due to this, translations such as ‘even with only/just (A), (B)’ are quite similar to ばかりに, so long as it is clear that (A) is surprising.
  • 貰(もら)った肉(にく)食(た)べばかりに、お腹(なか)壊(こわ)してしまった。
    Even just with eating the meat that was given to me, I got a stomach ache.
Fun Fact
The kanji that is used most frequently for ばかり is the same kanji that is used for 許(ゆる)す ‘to forgive’. In this particular use of 許, it still means ‘to let off’, or ‘to let through’, as ‘to forgive’ quite often has the nuance of letting something through/pass/slide.
  • 今回(こんかい)は許(ゆる)すけどまたやったら許(ゆる)さないからね。
    I will forgive you this time, but I will not forgive you if you do it again.
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財布(さいふ)を忘(わす)れたばかりにお弁当(べんとう)を買(か)えなかった。
Simply because I have forgotten my wallet, I couldn't buy a bento.
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病院(びょういん)に行(い)かなくてはいけなかったばかりに試合(しあい)に参加(さんか)できなかった。
Simply because I had to go to the hospital, I couldn't participate in the game.
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おとなしそうに見(み)えた犬(いぬ)頭(あたま)を撫(な)でたばかりに噛(か)まれたんだ。まだ手(て)痛(いた)い
Just because I patted the head of a docile looking dog, I have been bitten. It still hurts.
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