Compound Particles

Expressions for Means and Standards: によって, を通じて, にて, に沿って, 基づいて, and 即して

07

Last time, you learned various expressions for space and time, e.g. “8月はちがつをもってアメリカへこくします (I will return to the US in August),” and “ボブは10じゅっさいにしてプログラムをはじめました (Surprisingly, Bob started programming when he was 10 years old).” They are interchangeable with the particle で, but have more detailed nuances with high formality. In this lesson, we would like to continue with  the rest of the compound particle counterparts to the particle で.

How to Express Means and Standards in Various Ways

Table of Contents
Compound Particles to Express Means
Compound Particles to Express Standards

One of the basic functions of the particle で is to indicate means like “タクシーで学校がっこうく (I will go to school by taxi).” Means can somehow be interpreted as standards, e.g. when you made a contract following the laws in Japan, the laws can somehow be thought of as ‘means.’ Thus, you can say it in Japanese like this “ほん法律ほうりつ契約けいやくをしました.” However, compound particles allow you to say it in more a natural way. Let’s learn how to express various ‘means’ in detail.

Compound Particles to Express Means

Here we will deal with  によって, を通じて, にて, and をもって. As you may have noticed, you have already learned these phrases for expressing different functions. Just like particles, compound particles can also have multiple functions. They are interchangeable with the particle で, but you can express more detailed nuances with them.

によって: Means for Actions Done by Public Organizations

とうきょうしょうがっこう iPadによって 授業じゅぎょう して(いる / います)
Topic / Subject Means Direct Object Verb
Tokyo Elementary School gives classes by using iPads.

The function of によって here is to indicate means, which is the same as the particle で. However, since the formality is higher, によって is suitable for activities done by public organizations and is not suitable for individual or ordinary actions (*Look at the third example).

火事かじ原因げんいん調ちょうによって判明はんめい(した / しました)。
The cause of the fire became clear through the investigation.
ヘリコプターによって災者さいしゃきゅうじょ(する / します)。
[We] rescue victims of disasters by helicopter.
はし によってはんを(べる / べます)。
[I] eat meals by chopsticks.

However, if you use the form による, you can connect it with nouns in the same way as relative clauses. In that case, you can use it for individual and ordinary actions. We can say the meaning is the same as the combined particle での.

タクシー での・による通勤つうきんはとてもらく(だ / です)。
A commute by taxi is very easy.
iPad での・による授業じゅぎょうこうてき(だ / です)。
Classes with iPad are effective.

つうじて: Means (Media) of Communication

わたし 新聞しんぶんつうじて 政策せいさく こう(した / しました)
Topic / Subject Means (Media) Target Verb
I protested against the policy through the newspaper.

The function is to indicate means of communication. Means can be not only media, but people and actions such as interpreters and demonstrations. Your speech would make sense even if you use the particle で, however を通じて is more suitable in this context. を通(とお)して is sometimes used instead of 通じて. They have the same function.

しんについてラジオつうじてった / りました)。
[I] came to know about the earthquake via the radio.
通訳つうやくつうじてインタビューを(した / しました)。
[I] interviewed [him/her] through an interpreter.
デモつうじて戦争せんそう反対はんたい(した / しました)。
[We] opposed wars by way of demonstration.

を通じて has another function which is to express experience as means. This is generally used when you express something changed. You can substitute で or によって, which just indicates means. However, you can emphasize the nuance of experience by using を通じて.

りゅうがくつうじてわたしほんはとてもせいちょう(した / しました)。
Through the study abroad, my Japanese has improved very much.
たくさんの失敗しっぱいとおして実験じっけん成功せいこうすることができ(た / ました)。
Through a lot of failures, [I] have been able to succeed in the experiment.

にて and をもって: Way of Carrying Something Out

面接めんせつけっ [わたしが] メールにて らせします
Topic [Subject] Means Humble Form
As for the result of the job interview, [I] will inform [you] by email.

You can use にて or をもって to indicate the way something is carried out. They are interchangeable with the particle で, however, にて or をもって is preferred in formal writing. Although some grammar guides say をもって is frequently used, にて can more often be heard in practical situations.

詳細しょうさい口頭こうとうにて説明せつめいします。
As for the detail, [I] will explain [it] orally.
新幹線しんかんせんにてうかがいます。
[I] will go by bullet train.

Compound Particles to Express Standards

We introduced the sentence earlier: “ほん法律ほうりつ契約けいやくをしました (I made a contract following the laws in Japan).” Standards can be somehow expressed by the particle で. However, there are more natural expressions. Here, you will learn the three words: に沿って, にもとづいて, and にそくして.

沿って: Following or Along

[わたしは] ほん法律ほうりつ沿って 契約けいやく した / しました
[Topic / Subject] Standards Direct Object Verb
[I] made a contract following the laws in Japan.

沿って is the counterpart to “following” in English and generally used with those nouns: “法律ほうりつ: law,” “ガイドライン: guideline,” “方針ほうしん: policy,” etc. This is interchangeable with the particle で, but に沿って sounds more natural in this context.

会社かいしゃ方針ほうしん沿ってごとを(すすめた / すすめました)。
[I] proceeded with the business following the company’s policy.
められたつづ沿ってVISAビザ申請しんせいしてください。
Please apply for a visa following the predetermined paperwork.

に沿って has another function which works just like “along.” Here, you cannot substitute the particle で.

かわ沿ってあるくとちいさなむらが(ある / あります)。
If [you] walk along the river, [you] will find a small village.
このとお沿ってカフェが(ある / あります)。
There are cafes along this street.

もとづいて: Based on…

このえい じつもとづいて つくられ(た / ました)
Topic / Subject Standards Verb: Passive Form
This movie was made based on a true story.

に基づいて is the counterpart to “based on” in English. Note: This is NOT interchangeable with the particle で.

社長しゃちょう指示しじもとづいてごとをしないと(いけない / いけません)。
[You] have to work based on the directions given by the president.
明日あしたかいはこのりょうもとづいておこなう / おこないます)。
As for tomorrow’s meeting, [we] will hold [it] based on this material.
じつもとづいて計画けいかくて(よう / ましょう)。
Let’s make a plan based on the facts.

The origin of に基づいて is the verb: 基づく. Thus, you can reword the examples above as follows.

このごと社長しゃちょう指示しじもとづいている / います)。
This business is based on the directions given by the president.
明日あしたかいはこのりょうもとづいて(いる / います
Tomorrow’s meeting is based on this material.
わたしたちの計画けいかくじつもとづいている / います)。
Our plan is based on the fact.

そくして: In Accordance with…

法律ほうりつ 社会しゃかい実態じったいそくして わらないと(いけない / いけません)
Topic / Subject Standards Verb
The laws have to change in accordance with the actual conditions in society.

に即して is the counterpart to “in accordance with” in English and generally used with nouns which are related to states of realities like “実態: actual condition.” Note: に即して is NOT a common word and rarely used in practice. You only need to remember the usage if you plan to take the JLPT N1.

実際じっさい状況じょうきょうそくしてじゅうなん対応たいおうしてください。
Please respond flexibly in accordance with the actual situation.
だいそくしてニーズは(わる / わります)。
Needs will change in accordance with the era.

If you would like to reword the examples above in more natural ways, you can utilize the verb “合わせる: to match, adjust.” By using this in the te-form, you can nicely express almost the same things.

実際じっさい状況じょうきょうわせてじゅうなん対応たいおうしてください。
Please respond flexibly in a way appropriate to the actual situation.
だいわせてニーズは(わる / わります)。
Needs change along with the era.

Summary

  1. によって indicates means for actions done by public organizations.
  2. を通じて indicates media of communication.
  3. にて and をもって indicate ways of carrying something out.
  4. に沿って is the counterpart to “following” or “along” in English.
  5. に基づいて is the counterpart to “based on” in English.
  6. に即して is the counterpart to “in accordance with” in English.

Now you have completed the overview of compound particles which correspond to the particle に and で. They are greatly helpful in formal situations. Thus, the usage may be a little difficult, but try to become familiar with them. Next, we would like to explain some useful compound particles which don’t correspond to any single particles, indicating conditions like “depending on” and “regardless of.