Particle - Bakari

Bakari is a Japanese particle. Particles are generally considered to be similar to preposition in English. A particle is always placed after the word it modifies.

Here are several different usages of "bakari" with sample sentences. I think it is probably easy to understand its various usage through contextual examples. "Bakkkari", "bakashi" and "bakkashi" can be used in informal situations instead of "bakari".

(1) Indicates an approximate amount, be it time or money, etc. A number or quantity usually precedes it. It is similar to "kurai/gurai" and "hodo" and can be replaced in this usage.

  • Asu kara tooka bakari ryokou ni ikimasu. 明日から十日ばかり旅行に行きます。 --- I'll be leaving on a trip for about ten days from tomorrow.
  • Ryokou no hiyou wa zenbu de nijuuman-en bakari kakatta. 旅行の費用は全部で20万円ばかりかかった。 --- The total cost of the trip came to about two hundred thousand yen.
  • Gosen-en bakari kashite itadakemasen ka. 五千円ばかり貸していただけませんか。 --- Could you please lend me five thousand yen or so?

(2) Not only ~ but also

In the patterns "~ bakari dewa naku ~ mo" or "~ bakari ja naku ~ mo (informal)"

  • Otoko no ko bakari dewa naku, onna no ko mo takusan imashita. 男の子ばかりではなく、女の子もたくさんいました。 --- There were not only boys but also many girls.
  • Watashi wa nihongo bakari ja naku, furansugo mo benkyou shitai desu. 私は日本語ばかりじゃなく、フランス語も勉強したいです。 --- I want to study not only Japanese but also French.
  • Kare wa dansu bakari dewa naku, uta mo umai n desu. 彼はダンスばかりではなく、歌もうまいんです。 --- He is good not only at dancing but also singing.

Although "dake" can replace "bakari" in this usage, "bakari" is slightly more emphatic.

  • Nodo ga kawaita dake dewa naku, onaka mo suita. のどが渇いただけじゃなく、おなかもすいた。 --- Not only I am thirsty but also I am hungry.

    (3) Shows that something is always limited to a particular action, place or thing. It is similar to "dake" or "nomi".

    • Asonde bakari inai de, shukudai mo shinasai. 遊んでばかりいないで、宿題もしなさい。 --- Don't just play all the time, do your homework as well.
    • Terebi bakari mite iru to, me ni warui yo. テレビばかり見ていると、目に悪いよ。 --- If you watch TV all the time, it is not good for your eyes.
    • Watashi no neko wa itsumo nemutte bakari imasu. 私の猫はいつも眠ってばかりいます。 --- My cat is always just sleeping.

    (4) Used after the "~ta" form of verbs, it indicates that an action has just been completed. It translates into "just".

    • Chichi wa ima kaette kita bakari desu. 父は今帰ってきたばかりです。 --- My father just got home.
    • Sakki tabeta bakari nanoni, mada onaka ga suite iru. さっき食べたばかりなのに、まだおなかがすいています。 --- Although I had just eaten, I am still hungry.
    • Kinou katta bakari no kutsu o haite dekaketa. 昨日買ったばかりの靴を履いて出かけた。 --- I went out wearing the shoes that I had just bought yesterday.

    (5) In the patter "bakari ni", it emphasizes a reason or cause. It has a nuance of "solely due to; for the simple reason".

    • Ano basu ni notta bakari ni, jiko ni atta. あのバスに乗ったばかりに、事故にあった。 --- It was only because I got on that bus that I was involved in an accident.
    • Tomoko wa Ken to kekkon shita bakari ni kurou shiteiru. 智子は健と結婚したばかりに苦労している。 --- Simply because Tomoko married Ken, she is having a hard time.
    • Kare wa kuruma o kaitai bakari ni, isshou kenmei hataraiteiru. 彼は車を買いたいばかりに、一生懸命働いている。 --- He wants to buy a car so badly that he is working very hard.

    (6) Following a verb, it shows that the action is/was about to be carried out. It translates into "just about to do (something)".

    • Yuushoku o mou taberu bakari no tokoro ni dareka ga nokku shita. 夕食をもう食べるばかりのところに誰かがノックした。 --- We were just about to eat dinner when someone knocked on the door.
    • Kono shousetsu wa ato saigo no shou o kaku bakari da. この小説は後最後の章を書くばかりだ。 --- The only thing left to do with this novel is to write the last chapter.
    • Ima nimo ame ga furidasan bakari no soramoyou da. 今にも雨が降り出さんばかりの空模様だ。 --- The sky looks like it is about to rain anytime.