Japanese Grammar

How to Express Addition: だけでなく, ばかりか, もちろんのこと, and にとどまらず


Last time, you learned how to express limitation, e.g. “女性じょせいかぎり、割引わりびきがあります (There is a discount for only women),” and “今日きょうかぎりに、おさけをやめます (I will quit drinking by today).” Then, if you would like to say, “there is a discount for not only women but men,” what should you do? In this lesson, you will learn how to express addition.

Explanation for the Usage of だけでなく, ばかりか, もちろんのこと, and にとどまらず

Table of Contents
だけでなく: Not Only X But (Also) Y
ばかりか: Unexpected Addition
はもちろん(のこと): Reasonable Addition
どころか or はおろか: Addition for Emphasis

When it comes to addition, you can simply express it by using と like “女性じょせい男性だんせい (women and men).” However, there are several ways to express addition with different nuances such as “not only X but Y,” “X and even Y,” “not to mention…,” and “far from…” In Japanese, you need to memorize each sentence pattern to express them.

だけでなく: Not Only X But (Also) Y

マンガは どもだけでなく 大人おとな んで(いる / います)
  Base Addition  
Topic Noun Phrase: Subject + Inclusion Verb
As for manga, not only children but adults read [it].

This is a basic sentence pattern to express addition and is the counterpart to “not only X but (also) Y” in English. You can consider it as a noun phrase and the role is determined by particles placed at the end. In this context, the particle も or まで is often used in order to express inclusion or ranges like “from children to adults.” You can attach it not only nouns but adjectives and verbs. Regarding nouns, i-adjectives, and verbs, you don’t have to conjugate them, but you need to attach な with na-adjectives like 元気だけでなく. This rule is applicable for other sentence patterns, too.

[I] heard that not only Bob but John will join in the party.
ポケモンはほんだけでなくかいじゅうにん(だ / です)。
Pokémon is popular in not only Japan but all over the world.
Yoshida-san is not only pretty but smart.
あそだけでなくべんきょうもしないといけ(ない / ません)。
[I] must study besides hanging out.

There are some phrases which are interchangeable with だけでなく. だけでなく has almost the same nuance. だけじゃなく is the casual version. ばかりでなく and のみならず are the formal counterparts.

ポケモンはほんだけじゃなくかいじゅうにん(だ / です)。
あそのみならずべんきょうもしないといけ(ない / ません)。

ばかりか: Unexpected Addition

わたし ようばかりか にちようにも はたらいて(いる / います)
  Base Addition  
Topic / Subject Noun Phrase: Specific Time + Inclusion Verb
I work on Saturdays and even Sundays, too.

The grammatical rule is the same as だけでなく, but ばかりか implies unexpectedness. That is to say, ばかりか should be attached to words which indicate unusual things like working on a Saturday. Then, you can add another unusual thing like working on Sundays. Note: ばかりか sounds formal.

そのしんばかりか火事かじき(た / ました)。
On that day, an earthquake and even a fire occurred.
うそをついたばかりかかねまで(ぬすんだ / ぬすみました)。
[He/she] told a lie and even stole money.
はは携帯けいたいでんばかりかパソコンまでってくれ(た / ました)。
[My] mother bought a cell phone and even a PC [for me].
The PC is durable and even resistant to water.

If you just express addition without unexpected nuances, you should use だけでなく.

げつよう だけじゃなくばかりか ようにもはたらいて(いる / います)。
[I] work not only on Mondays but Tuesdays too.

はもちろん(のこと): Reasonable Addition

わたし えいはもちろんのこと アラビア はなせ(る / ます)
  Base Addition  
Topic / Subject Noun Phrase: Object + Inclusion Verb
I can speak Arabic, not to mention English too.

はもちろんのこと implies reasonableness. That is to say, はもちろんのこと should be attached to words which indicate reasonable things like speaking English in the above example. Then, you need to add less reasonable things like speaking Arabic. You can roughly translate this as “not to mention…” in English. Regarding the conjugation, only nouns can be connected. Thus, you need to nominalize verbs and adjectives if necessary. Note: のこと is sometimes omitted.

くるまはもちろんのことこう運転うんてんでき(る / ます)。
[I] can drive planes, not to mention cars too.
ピアノはもちろんのことフルートもけ(る / ます)。
[I] can play the flute, not to mention piano too.
ひとたたくのはもちろん悪口わるぐちったことも(ない / ありません)。
[I] have never spoken badly, not to mention beating people too.

If reasonableness is low, you should use the basic one だけでなく. Or if there is an unexpected nuance, you should use ばかりか.

ほんだけじゃなくちゅうごくもでき(る / ます)。
[I] can speak not only Japanese but Chinese.
ヒンディーばかりかベンガルもでき(る / ます)。
[I] can speak Hindi and even Bengalese.

There are some phrases which are interchangeable with はもちろんのこと. はもとより and は言うまでもなく have the same meaning.

くるまはもとよりこう運転うんてんでき(る / ます)。
ピアノうまでもなくフルートもけ(る / ます)。

どころか or はおろか: Addition for Emphasis

わたし 結婚けっこんするどころか 彼女かのじょ いない / いません
  Base Addition  
Topic Noun Phrase: Subject + Inclusion Verb
I am far from getting married, [I] don’t even have a girlfriend.

どころか and はおろか are the counterpart to “far from…” in English and function to emphasize a main topic by showing a strong example. There are two main differences between どころか and はおろか. The first is that you can attach any part of speech to どころか while you can only attach nouns to はおろか. Thus, with the above example, you have to use a nominalizer like 結婚するはおろか. The second is はおろか sounds more formal than どころか.

びょうなおどころかわるくなって(しまった / しまいました)。
[I] am far from recovering from the sickness, [I] have even gotten worse.
かいどころかほん挨拶あいさつをしたことが(ない / ありません)。
[I] am far from conversation, [I] have never even greeted in Japanese.
はしるのはおろかあるげんも(ない / ありません)。
[I] am far from running, [I] don’t even have energy to walk.
ちゅうごくはおろかえいはなせ(ない / ません)。
[I] am far from [speaking] Chinese, [I] cannot even speak English.


  1. だけでなく expresses “not only X but (also) Y.”
  2. ばかりか indicates unexpected addition and means “X and even Y.”
  3. はもちろん(のこと)indicates reasonable addition and means “not to mention.”
  4. どころか and はおろか work to emphasize addition and mean “far from…”

だけでなく is most important among the four because it’s very versatile and can be replaced with ばかりか and はもちろんのこと. Thus, please master this usage first. Regarding the frequency, we think だけでなく and どころか are high. You may generally hear the rest of them in formal situations. Now, you know how to express addition in various ways. Next, you will learn how to express subjective evaluation.

Would You Like to Have a Native Tutor Guide You?

Since we are providing online lessons, you can learn Japanese with native speakers and our well-designed curriculum from anywhere in the world. Our lessons are;

  • -One on one lessons for 50 minutes once a week

  • -JPY7,560 (About USD 66 or EUR 63 -22th Nov 2016) per month

  • -Continuous support from the same tutor

  • -Regular lesson time selected by users

We can be sure that your Japanese will enhance further. Please join in Wasabi today via the following.

Try Now