16 Oct 2019

When you think in Japanese, you might sometimes be confused with the difference between " without A "and " instead of A ". Both are the same in terms of the fact that they include a negation, or A doesn't exist in both. Then, are they kind of the same? Let's look at the following sentences.

(1) I stayed at home all day, (  ) going to school.
① instead of   ② except   ③ instead of   ④ without

(2) He left the room (   ) saying good-bye.
① instead of   ② except   ③ instead of   ④ without

The answers are  ③ for (1)    and   ④ for (2)

In a nutshell,

"Instead of A" means there are two actions involved in a sentence, and they CAN'T be done at the same time. In (1), for example, you can't "stay at home" and "go to school" at the same time.

You have to decide which one to pick and which not to pick on your own.

As a result, "instead of going to school" ( not going to school ) I "stayed at home"

In comparison
when two actions are involved in a sentence with "without" like the sentence (2), these two actions are possibly done at the same time, but they are NOT done for some reason.

In such a case, "without", instead of "instead of" is appropriate.


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