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Kanji in this term
Grade: 4


Analyzable as the irregular -ba conditional conjugation of verb 例える (tatoeru, to compare something, to liken one thing to another, to make a metaphor about something).

Historically, the term appears from at least the late Heian period in the Kokin Wakashū dated roughly 920 CE, indicating that the original derivation was as the regular -ba conditional conjugation of Old Japanese-derived verb 例ふ (tatofu), conjugated in the 下二段活用 (shimo nidan katsuyō, lower bigrade conjugation) pattern. Through regular historical processes, classical 例ふ (tatofu) evolved into modern 例える (tatoeru).



例えば (hiragana たとえば, rōmaji tatoeba, historical hiragana たとへば)

  1. for example, exempli gratia, for instance, such as
     () (ほん)には (おお)くの (うつく)しい () ()がある。 (たと)えば () () (こう) ()だ。
    Nihon ni wa ōku no utsukushii toshi ga aru. Tatoeba Nara, Kōbe da.
    There are a lot of beautiful cities in Japan. Nara and Kōbe, for example.
    • 1992, "Kimi ga Iru Dake de", in Octave, performed by Kome Kome Club, track 2:
       (たと)えば (きみ)がいるだけで (こころ) (つよ)くなれること
      tatoeba kimi ga iru dake de kokoro ga tsuyoku nareru koto
      for example, the fact that my heart can become stronger just by having you around


  1. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  2. ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN
  3. ^ 1997, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  • 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan