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All About Japanese Particles: – ながら (- nagara)

[Serie: All About Japanese Particles]

1. Indicates that two actions are taking place simultaneously: “as, while.”

Note: The subject of both clauses must be the same. In English translation, the main and subordinate clauses of the Japanese are usually reversed.

Maiasa terebi o minagara, asagohan o tabemasu.
Every morning, I watch television as I eat breakfast. (Lit., … I eat breakfast as I watch television.)

Aoki-san wa itsu mo ongaku o kikinagara benkyō shite iru.
Aoki always listens to music while he studies. (Lit., Aoki studies while he listens to music.)

2. Used between two clauses to emphasize that they are opposed in meaning: “although, while.”

Takagi-san wa karada ga yowai to iinagara, yoku yoru osoku made sake o nonde iru.
Although Takagi says he was a weak constitution [poor health], he often drinks until late at night.

Ano sensei wa gakusei ni wa chikoku o shinai yō ni to iinagara, jibun wa itsu mo okurete gakkō e kuru. Although that teacher tells her students not to be late, she herself is always late in coming to school.

– Source: All about particles – A handbook of Japanese function words


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