やら (yara) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N2]

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やら (yara) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N2]

The expression やら (yara) means and as a conjunction for lists and items, but is used in various contexts with different translations based on the specific situation.

In this post we learn more about the meaning of やら, how it is formed, and when やら is used through real example sentences.


How やら is formed

やら has various uses and also positions within the sentence. やら can be found as:

  • adverb combined with a verb
  • adverb combined with a noun
  • final particle in the sentence
Noun+やら
Verb+やら
Adjective in い+やら
Adjective in な+やら
やら is also found joined to the particle の and becomes のやら, with verbs, nouns and adjectives

How and when to use やら

やら typically expresses doubt, uncertainty and even dismay and concern.

息子(むすこ)(まい)(にち)(まい)(にち)ゲームばかりして、(なに)をしているのやら。

My son plays every single day, I really don't know what he's doing.

In the example sentence we note the mother's concern with her child, in a situation that seems unable to be stopped or controlled.

どこにパスポートを()いたのやら、(おも)()せない。

I can't remember where I put my passport.

With the adjective in na, the particle な is placed before やら.

(とも)(だち)はいつも()()(げん)そうだ。いったい(なに)()(まん)なのやら、わからない。

My friends always seem to be in a bad mood. I don't understand why they are dissatisfied.

やら~やら for lists

You often find and hear the double use of やら:

Verb Noun Adjectives
やら
Term
やら

It is used in the case of listing of things, objects or in which situations similar to each other are reported.

(ざい)()(なか)にカードやらレシートやらが()っている。

In the wallet there are credit cards, receipts, etc.

It is also used a lot in union with verbs.

昨日(きのう)(あめ)()るやら(つよ)(かぜ)()くやらで、どこへも()かなかった。

Yesterday between rain and wind, we went nowhere.

The contexts in which やら~やら is used are often negative in nature, reporting unpleasant, difficult, annoying and complicated things to do or deal with.
あなたの()()(ほん)やら(ふく)やらで()らかっている。

Your room is cluttered with books and clothes.

In this sentence we perceive the negative evaluation of the condition of the room and a certain annoyance on the part of the speaker.

Difference between やら~やら and や

The synonyms for やら~やら in the listings are:

  • ~や~など
  • ~たり~たり

In the first case we remember that is used only with nouns.

(れい)(ぞう)()(なか)(たまご)(ぎゅう)(にゅう)などがある。

There are eggs, milk, etc. in the refrigerator.

どうやら - It seems that

The question どう of the kosoado series combined with the particle やら forms the expression どうやら.

This is another commonly used expression which translates as:

  • As adverb: apparently, evidently
  • In combination with a verb: it seems that ..., it looks like ..., apparently
どうやら()(かい)があったようだ。

Apparently there was a misunderstanding.

どうやら明日(あした)(あめ)らしい。

It will probably rain tomorrow.

Listening to the weather forecast on TV, it seems that the conditions are right for it to rain tomorrow.

More examples with やら

(かれ)()るのなら()ないのなら(まった)()からない。

I have no idea if he will come or not.

Sense of uncertainty and annoyance towards the person you are talking about
(さい)(きん)(むすめ)(なに)(かんが)えているやら、(おんな)(わたし)でもわからない。

I don't understand what my daughter thinks ultimately, even though I am a woman myself.

Also in this example the concern is expressed for a situation in which there is no certainty: in a state of dissatisfaction and difficulty.

これからどうしたら()いのやら。

What should I do now?

We see in this example the use with a adjective in i. This sentence is surely pronounced following an event that creates concern or thoughts that can generate feelings of tension on the part of the speaker.

(ぜい)(きん)やらチップやらで,(かん)(じょう)(ごう)(けい)して100ユーーなる。

The account between taxes and tip, amounts to 100 euros.

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