Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 1: 13/17


Depending on


Noun + ()+ 如何(いかん) + (1)
Noun + ()+ 如何(いかん) + (2)

(1) によって(は)
(2) である


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About 如何

いかん is a grammar structure that has evolved as an abbreviation of いかん, an adverb meaning 'in what way'. In almost all circumstances, it can be translated directly as 'depending on', and will be followed by either the auxiliary verb だ at the end of sentences, or the conjunctive form of だ, で, when used in the middle of a sentence.
いかん will follow nouns, and may or may not be preceded by の.
  • (あらし)状況(じょうきょう)いかんで、来週(らいしゅう)のイベントが中止(ちゅうし)されるかされないかが()まる。
    Whether or not next week's event will be canceled will depend on the status of the storm.
  • 前回(ぜんかい)試験(しけん)結果(けっか)いかんでどの大学(だいがく)(はい)れるかが()まる。
    Which college I can get into will depend on the result of my last exam.
  • 東大(とうだい)入学(にゅうがく)できるかは、(きみ)たちの努力(どりょく)いかんだ。
    Whether or not you guys can get into Tokyo University would depend on your efforts.
  • 来月(らいげつ)昇進(しょうしん)できるかは自分(じぶん)業績(ぎょうせき)いかんだ。
    Whether I get a promotion next month depends on my performance.
Occasionally, いかん will be followed by によって. This may seem like repetition for no particular reason, but in most cases it will just strengthen the original meaning of 'depending on', and can be literally translated as 'depending on what way (A) is oriented, (B)'.
  • 実験(じっけん)結果(けっか)いかんによっては、最初(さいしょ)からやり(なお)さないといけなくなる可能性(かのうせい)もあります。
    Depending on the results of the experiment, we may have to start over from the beginning.
いかん itself is used in a very similar way to 次第(しだい) 'upon (A)', or 'depending on (A)', and more often than not implies that the degree of (A) will be the factor that determines the overall result. Due to this, it will often be followed by subclauses that use verbs of decision making such as ()まる.
Fun Fact
いかん, like いかに, is simply another word that has the same meaning as どう 'how', and even shares the same kanji structure of 如何(いかん), 如何(どう). It is also quite common to see the structure かどうであるによって 'depending on in what way' used as an explanation for the meaning of いかん in various dictionaries and other teaching resources. Due to this, it may be beneficial to simply consider いかん as a less common version of どう, or かどうである.




    Depending on the exam results, my future will be decided.


    In the case of an accident, depending on the severity of the wound, hospitalization is also possible.


    Depending on the experiment's results, funding will be decided. Cancellation is also a possibility.


    Hotel website: 'Depending on future circumstances, we may have to cancel your reservation. In that case, we will notify you with an email.'


    Whether or not the course will be held all depends on the minimum number of required participants being reached.

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