Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 6: 16/17

とばかりに

As if (to say), Seeming that

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

Quote + ばかり(に)
Noun +()+ ばかり(に)

Details

  • Register

    Formal

  • 使用域

    硬い

Rare Kanji

許り

About とばかり(に)

とばかり is a construction that is often used to show that something is being done 'as if to say (A)', or 'seeming that (A)'. It is a combination of the case-marking particle と in its 'quotation' use, and the adverbial particle ばかり, exhibiting that something is 'basically exactly as described'. Due to this, とばかり simply indicates that while (A) is as described, it is not literally the case.
とばかり can appear after almost any word, as the と is creating a quote. に will often follow ばかり when the sentence is going on to describe what is actually happening.
  • 中田(なかた)選手(せんしゅ)のバランスが(くず)れたので、斉藤(さいとう)選手(せんしゅ)はチャンスとばかりに中田(なかた)選手(せんしゅ)(ふと)ももを()った。
    Since Nakata's balance was disrupted, Saito, seeing it as a chance, kicked Nakata's thigh.
  • うちのわんちゃんが「()ってました」とばかりに尻尾(しっぽ)()って友達(ともだち)()びついた。
    Our dog wagged his tail and jumped onto my friend as if to say 'I have been waiting'.
  • 先生(せんせい)が「(おれ)(はなし)()いてるか」とばかりに生徒(せいと)たちを(にら)みつけた。
    The teacher stared at the students as if to say 'Are you listening to me'.
とばかりに is an abbreviation of ()わんばかり 'to only just not be at the point where (A) is said', which itself will still be seen quite often.
  • (はや)くしろ()わんばかりに上司(じょうし)何回(なんかい)も「まだ?」って()いてきた。
    My boss repeatedly asked me, 'Are you done?' as if to say 'hurry up'.
  • つまらない()わんばかり(かお)でみられたから、(はな)すのをやめた。
    They were looking at me as if they were bored, so I stopped talking.
In this case, ()わん is an abbreviation of ()わぬ, making use of the classical auxiliary verb ぬ used for negation.
Caution
As とばかりに will be used to describe the way that something 'looks like it is about to say', it won't be used for describing the speaker themselves. However, it may occasionally be seen being used about the speaker if the sentence is in third person.

Examples

--:--

  • 小説(しょうせつ):「 なかなか()にかかない(うつく)景色(けしき)なので(たけし)こことばかりにカメラ()撮影(さつえい)。」

    Novel: 'It's a beautiful scene that you don't see very often, so Takeshi took the opportunity to grab his camera and take some pictures.'

    ここ in this context means 'now', as in 'now is the moment I have been waiting/aiming for' and ぞ is used to emphasize determination. Therefore these expressions can be translated to 'take advantage of the opportunity' or 'grab the opportunity'.

    • 小説(しょうせつ):「洋服店(ようふくてん)(はい)なり(なが)ことこのとき()ていたとばかりに店員(てんいん)(こえ)をかけてきた。」

      Novel: 'As soon as he entered the clothing store, the clerk approached him, as if she had been just waiting for this very moment for a long time.'

      • 小説(しょうせつ):「もうあなたはなしたくないとばかりに(かれ)ドアばたんと()

        Novel: 'He slammed the door as if to say "I don't want to talk with you anymore".'

        • スーパー閉店(へいてん)(ちか)づき食品(しょくひん)など割引(わりびき)される時間帯(じかんたい)になると主婦(しゅふ)たちこことばかりに(おお)()(もの)

          As the closing time of the supermarket approached, when food and other items were discounted, housewives took the opportunity and did a lot of shopping.

          • 「おまえ(だま)れ」とばかりに()テーブル(たた)

            She slammed the table with her hand as if to say 'Silence!'.

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