Learn Japanese Vocabulary: How to Use Tonikaku and Toriaezu To Improve Your Japanese Now!

Tonikaku and Toriaezu : learn the difference between them

You already know the most common Japanese verbs and have spent so much time on Japanese vocabulary practice but still feel like a cat got your tongue? Does speaking Japanese phrases still feel too distant? Improve it by learning the difference between these two words: Tonikaku and Toriaezu.

Learning to speak Japanese sentences can be a true hassle if you don’t know the transition words. 

Let’s get started!

Japanese Vocabulary: What’s the Difference Between Tonikaku and Toriaezu?

とにかく・Tonikaku means anyway. Just as the meaning implies, it is a transition before concluding or making a summary statement.

“Anyway, that was your fault.”


Tonikaku, sore wa anata no sei deshita.

“We worried about you so much. Anyway, the big thing is, you’ve come back safely.”


Zuibun shinpaishita ga, tonikaku buji de kaette kitekurete nani yori da. 

とりあえず・Toriaezu means for now, or for the time being. It’s commonly used in a short-term context i.e. when the speaker wants to express something that’s to be done immediately. 

“For now, please wait here.”


Toriaezu, koko de matte kudasai.

“We’ve got items necessary for now.”


Toriaezu hitsuyouna shina wa sorotta.

New Japanese learners sometimes make the small slip-up of using tonikaku instead of toriaezu. Let’s look at how the meaning changes if done so:

However, if we replace toriaezu of the 3rd example sentence with tonikaku

… instead of  Toriaezu, koko de matte kudasai

… using Tonikaku, koko de matte kudasai

What did our Japanese vocabulary practice show us? 

What changed? Suppose you hear it from the restaurant staff when you want to dine.

While the 1st sentence is the polite form, one that should be used in hospitality, the 2nd sentence sounds rude and unprofessional.

In conclusion, be careful not to change the meaning by choosing the wrong transition word!

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Gretta Reinoso
2 months ago

To the we-japan.com owner, Thanks for the detailed post!

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