Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 6: 9/20


Through, Via, Throughout

Used when something has been done not directly, but by a proxy/some means/tool/etc.


Noun + (とお)
Noun + (つう)


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About を通じて・を通して

(つう)じて and (とお)して are two grammar patterns in Japanese that have very similar meanings to each other, and are used in many overlapping situations. Primarily, they can be thought of as meaning 'through (A), (B)', or 'via (A), (B)'. This 'through' may either indicate a method, or a location.
(つう)じる 'to flow', or 'to go through' and (とお)す 'to make a path', only differ in that the former is intransitive, while the latter is transitive. Because of this, (つう)じる will be seen more often in regard to information or communication where (A) is the connection through which (B) occurs. (とお)す on the other hand more often refers to direct locations through which something is transferred or relocated.As this expression begins with を, it will appear after nouns, before expressing in the (B) part of the sentence exactly what was done 'through' (A).
  • その事件(じけん)はネットニュース(つう)じて()りました。
    I learned about that incident through online news.
  • (かれ)はアニメ(つう)じて日本語(にほんご)(まな)んだそうだ。
    I heard that he learned Japanese through anime.
  • 語学(ごがく)留学(りゅうがく)(とお)して日本(にほん)文化(ぶんか)などを(まな)びました。
    I learned about Japanese culture and other aspects of Japan through language study.
  • 仕事(しごと)(とお)して(いま)(つま)出会(であ)いました。
    I met my current wife through work.
Caution - The primary difference between (つう)じて and (とお)して lies in the intransitive and transitive nature of the verbs themselves. Due to this, things that are being done 'intentionally', or 'by use of (A)' will tend to use (とお)して. (つう)じて is more common when something is being done 'throughout (A)'.
  • ロシアには年間(ねんかん)(つう)じて(さむ)(むら)があるらしい。
    I heard that there is a town in Russia that is cold throughout the year. (Natural Japanese)
  • 事故(じこ)にあった(さい)には弁護士(べんごし)(つう)じて相手(あいて)連絡(れんらく)をするようにしてください。
    If you are involved in an accident, you should contact the other party through your attorney. (Unnatural Japanese)
  • 事故(じこ)にあった(さい)には弁護士(べんごし)(とお)して相手(あいて)連絡(れんらく)をするようにしてください。
    If you are involved in an accident, you should contact the other party through your attorney. (Natural Japanese)
  • ロシアには年間(ねんかん)(とお)して(さむ)(むら)があるらしい。
    I heard that there is a town in Russia that is cold throughout the year. (Unnatural Japanese)




    I met my current wife through a friend.


    I have learned a lot through participating in this project.


    I ended up being able to communicate with my parents only via the lawyer. My parents hate me.


    Through the theatrical play, my communication ability improved.


    Through the organ, I learned the importance of practice.

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を通じて・を通して – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (3 in total)

  • eccol


    How significant is the difference between を通じて and を通して?
    The readings link to this Stackexchange page which says

    while many times they can be used interchangeably, を通じて is used when describing the means that brings about some conclusion .

    But does that mean を通して can’t be used to describe a conclusion? When is it used then?

    In other words, why is を通して incorrect for 今の奥さんは友達 ____ 出会った。 but not 植木 _____ 自然の尊さを学びました。?

  • Fuga


    Hey @eccol !

    Although を通して and を通じて can be used interchangeably, they do have a slight difference in the nuance because the plain forms of を通して and を通じて is 通す and 通じる, and have different meanings. 通す means ‘to make an object pass through another object’ and 通じる means ‘to connect’. Due to these differences in their meanings, を通して has a volitional nuance, and を通じて has a passive nuance.

    を通して does not work with 今の奥さんは友達を ____ 出会った, because he did not go out of his way to meet his wife, he met his wife through coincidence of having a friend that was friends with his current wife. Also, because the definition for 通じてる is ‘to connect’, を通じて sounds a lot more natural.

    を通して sounds more natural for 植木 _____ 自然の尊さを学びました, because the speaker went out of their way to plant trees to learn nobility of nature.
    We hope that this answers your question!

  • Melanthe


    For future reference, I think this grammar point could do with splitting:

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