ために (tameni) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N3]

Author Sandro Maglione for article 'ために (tameni) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N3]'

Sandro Maglione

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ために (tameni) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N3]

The expression ために (tameni) means for the purpose of, in order to, in such a way as to.

ために is used to indicate a reason or purpose that leads to a certain action. ために can also be used to indicate a cause, something that caused an event to happen (because of, due to).

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


How ために is formed

ために consists of:

  • Noun ため (為), meaning purpose, objective, result
  • Particle に, which indicates the direction (toward that purpose...)

ために can follow verbs in their dictionary form, adjectives, and nouns. When following an adjective ending in な, you need to add な, while when following a noun, you need to add の:

Verb[Dictionary form]+ために
Adjective[い]+ために
Adjective[な]++ために
Noun++ために

ために can also be found in its kanji form (ため)に.

あなたの(ため)(おも)って()うのよ!

I'm saying this for your own good!

ために to indicate a purpose

ために is used to express a purpose or objective that someone wants to achieve with all their strength.

For this reason, ために must be used with volitional verbs, which express the direct intention to perform an action (unlike ように).

()(けん)のために(べん)(きょう)しています。

To pass the test, I studied.

From the example we see how the action of study ((べん)(きょう)する) was intentionally performed by the speaker in order to pass the test (()(けん)). ために in this case shows the intention aimed at achieving the specified goal.

ために to indicate a cause

The second use of ために is to indicate a cause that led to a certain result. In this case ために translates as because of, due to.

In this usage, ために can also follow past tense verbs (た):

Verb[Non past tense]+ため+(に)
Verb[Past]+ため+(に)

If ために is preceded by a verb in the past tense (た) or in the form ている, then ために indicates a cause (and not a purpose as seen above).

たくさん(あめ)()ったために、(こう)(ずい)になりました。

Due to the heavy rain there was some flooding.

When ために indicates a cause, the first part of the sentence indicates the direct cause that led to the event of the second part of the sentence.

In the example we see how the falling rain ((あめ)()った) is the direct cause of flooding ((こう)(ずい)). ために specifies this cause and effect relationship.

ため: goal or objective

It is important to remember that ため (without the に particle) indicates a objective or purpose. For this reason, it is possible to find ため in combination with other particles, such as:

  • ための: ため in this case modifies the noun that follows, something for the purpose of...
  • ためには: the particle は indicates the topic, this expression translates as as for reaching the goal...
  • ためにも: similar to は, but using も we indicate also for, translated as also to reach the goal, also for...
  • ためにと: と is used to quote something, translated as thinking it would lead to..., thinking for the purpose of...
  • ためだけに: using the particle だけ (only) indicates something that was done only for the sake of. .., only for the purpose of...
  • ためなら: なら is a conditional (se), with ために translates into if it is for the purpose of... , if the goal is...

これは()(ども)のためのコンピューターです。

This is a computer for the children.

(かね)のためだけに(はたら)きたくない。

I don't want to work just for money.

(かれ)(しゅっ)()のためならどんな()(ごと)でも()()ける。

If he's going to get a promotion then he has to take any job.


Examples of ために

(いもうと)のためにも!

Do it for your younger sister too!

(さむ)いために、(くるま)()(しょう)してしまった。

The car broke down due to the cold.

日本(にほん)(りゅう)(がく)するために、お(かね)()めています。

In order to study in Japan, I saved up money.

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