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Trouble with ように

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Joined: October 18th, 2008 5:24 am

Trouble with ように

Postby thegooseking » September 1st, 2017 10:45 pm


I was reading this story on NHK Easy ( ) and I'm having a little trouble understanding what the Prime Ministers said.


I think it's something like "Prime Minister Abe said that he hoped Japanese companies doing business in Britain would not be worried, even if Britain leaves the EU. Prime Minister May said, 'We are having talks with Japanese companies so that problems do not arise.'"

So I think I get the general idea, but I'm trying to understand why ように is used in these ways. The first sentence reads like "He wants them to do it so that they are not worried." Do what? I'm not sure what the difference is between 困らないようにしてほしい and 困らないでほしい. Is he just being less direct to be polite? Or is it because 困る is unaccusative (i.e. the subject has no volitional control over whether to do it or not), so maybe you can't directly want them not to do it? Or something else? Edit: I actually looked up ようにする as a single unit, and learned that one of its meanings is "to try to..." so maybe it's "he wants them to try not to be worried"?

In the second sentence it's more the use of ~ながら + ように ("While having talks with Japanese companies, we are doing it so that problems do not arise"). What's the difference between saying this and 問題が出ないように日本の会社と話をします? Is she maybe implying that that's one of the reasons for having the talks, but not the only one?


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Re: Trouble with ように

Postby community.japanese » September 30th, 2017 3:58 pm

Thank you for your comment!

That's right! You get the concept of "ようにする". It means "to try to ~" in this case as you mentioned and the sentence means "PM Abe said that he hoped they(the UK goverment) try not to let Japanese companies doing business in Britain be worried." If you translate it to "困らないでほしい", it sounds like Abe talks to Japanese companies.

As for your second question, those two translations have almost same meanings, but I feel "問題が出ないように日本の会社と話をします” means there is already a specific concern which might cause a trouble and they have to talk to Japanese companies, while "日本の会社と話をしながら、問題が出ないようにします" indicates they don't know what problem happens in the future but anyway they have talks with Japanese companies to try to avoid causing any problems.

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