によって (niyotte) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Based on

Author Sandro Maglione for article 'によって (niyotte) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Based on'

Sandro Maglione

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によって (niyotte) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Based on

The expression によって (niyotte) means based on, depends on, by means of.

This expression can also be found in the forms による (niyoru) or により (niyori), depending on how it is used in a sentence.

によって is used to refer to something that was said by someone (based on) or something that depends on some other event (depends on).

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

How によって is formed

The expression によって is composed of:

  • Particle に: indicates the agent, the one on whom the situation depends on
  • による: godan verb which means by means of, due to, according to

によって (による or により) follows the noun that you want to indicate as the cause or origin on which the situation or action expressed in the sentence depends:

  • によって: uses the て form of the verb による, and is generally used before the comma ()
  • により: uses the conjunctive form of the verb による ((れん)(よう)(けい)), and is placed before a to connect two sentences
  • による: dictionary form of the verb, most often found at the end of the sentence

によって to indicate a cause or reason

The first use of によって is to indicate the cause ((げん)(いん)) or reason (()(ゆう)) that led to a certain situation or to perform a certain action.


Because of the fire many forests were burned down.

によって is used to indicate causes in a technical and objective way, without emphasis or emotion. For this reason, によって is used more often for communications and reports, and less often in spoken language.

When によって indicates a cause or reason it can be found in its kanji form に()って, where 因 indicates a cause

によって to indicate something that depends on

The most common spoken usage of によって is to indicate something that depends on:


Lifestyle varies according to the country.

In a legal context or when you want to report an example or reasoning, によって is used to indicate the base or origin of the information that proves what was said:


The truth based on testimony.

によって to indicate a method

Another use of によって is to indicate a method, something by which or through which an action or decision is made.


Know the news about the world through the Internet.

This use of によって is similar to the use of the で particle. によって is more appropriate than で when the method used is not a physical object.


We decide by vote.

によって in passive sentences

によって can be used in a passive sentence to indicate the agent, the one who performed the action.


The work was done by Mr. Tanaka.

Examples of によって


Opinions change according to the person.


I will decide based on the price of that car.


The color chosen depends on a personal preference.