Japanese Grammar: At the Same Time A grammar breakdown

    The other day I stumbled across of a list of “at the same time” grammar points in one of my Japanese text books. I’m studying for the Japanese Proficiency Test, ikkyu level, so all the Japanese I’m learning now either appears only in writing or is used by pompous bastards (sometimes). Still, I thought I’d share them with you anyways. Included in each paragraph will be the grammar point, a definition (though they are all basically the same), an example or two, how “usable” they are, and finally, how and when to use them. If you don’t know a kanji in a sentence, please look it up over at Mr. Breen’s house. And now…grammar!

    Koichi has no watch

    ついでに:While doing [purpose 1], you do [purpose 2] along the way / at the same time

    • Safewayに行くついでに、Starbucks(スタバ)のコーヒーを買いました
    • While going to Safeway, I bought a coffee (on the way/at the same time)
    • How: (v.plain)ついでに、(noun)のついでに
    • Usability: Very Usable
    • When: Casual situations. Don’t use it on your teachers / superiors

    かたがた:While doing [action 1], you do [action 2] as well

    • スタバで日本語の勉強かたがたコーヒーを買いました
    • While studying at Starbucks, I bought a coffee
    • ポートランドに行くかたがたIKEAに行きました。
    • When going to Portland, I went to Ikea (as well)
    • How: (v.plain)かたがた、(noun)かたがた
    • Useability: Somewhat Useable
    • When: Formal situations. Try using it with your teacher / superiors!

    がてら:While doing [action 1], you do [action 2] as well

    • 日本語を教えがてら日本語を勉強しています
    • I am teaching Japanese, but at the same time I’m studying Japanese (as well).
    • 散歩がてら、牛乳を買いました。
    • While out walking, I bought some milk.
    • How: (v.stem)がてら、(noun)がてら
    • Usability: Not really usable.
    • When: Very formal situations, used more in writing.

    一方で:At the same time, (on the other hand)

    • 今年サッカーをやっている一方でバレーボールもやっている
    • This year I’m doing Soccer, but at the same time / on the other hand -I’m doing Volleyball as well.
    • How: (v.plain)一方で、(noun)の一方で
    • Usability: Fairly Usable
    • When: Both Casual and Formal Situations. Fairly neutral in terms of formality.

    • かたわら:On the Other hand / At the same time

    • 文法の勉強のかたわら漢字も勉強しています
    • I’m studying Grammar, but at the same time I’m also studying kanji
    • How: (v.plain)かたわら、(noun)のかたわら
    • Usability: Fairly Usable
    • When: Pretty casual. Use it with your stylin’ friends

    Try to keep in mind the “usability” factor of each grammar point. When speaking Japanese, it is really important to know what kind of speech to use (or not to use) in any one situation. I tried to lay it out in general terms, but there are always exceptions to the rules. Sadly, you’ll have to figure those out on your own.