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To do A mindlessly; without paying much attention to A
Used to show action A that is not being done with a forceful sense of purpose or direction.

  1. To do A mindlessly; without paying much attention to A
    Used to show action A that is not being done with a forceful sense of purpose or direction.
  2. To state that person/place/time A tied to an action is not known
    Used to state an action without specifying who did it, when it was, where it occurred, etc.
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2
    ともなく               
Talking to my mother without thinking too much about it, I began to cry (tears started to come out).
4
  ともなく ぶらぶら               辿      
Strolling about, I happened upon a beautiful park.

Getting the sentences
Construction
(Elements in parentheses are optional.)
AVerb: Dictionary Form なく
 
AVerb: Dictionary Form なし
 
 
BVerb
Basic Examples:
ともなく (without meaning to watch)

Why two verbs?
The verbs A and B are usually the same verb or two verbs with similar meanings.
Basic Examples
るともなくつめる
えるともなく
くともなくいていたら
ともなく vs. ともなしに
While this expression as a whole is rather rare, ともなしに is even more so, typically found in writing.
Where this grammar is found


User notes
0

Act with no particular purpose or intent in mind. Verbs of same type of action precede and follow, such as る、 う、 く、 える、 etc. Often used when unconsciously doing something and an unexpected event occurs.
1 year ago
avatar まことまじま - Level 417
 
To state that person/place/time A tied to an action is not known
Used to state an action without specifying who did it, when it was, where it occurred, etc.

  1. To do A mindlessly; without paying much attention to A
    Used to show action A that is not being done with a forceful sense of purpose or direction.
  2. To state that person/place/time A tied to an action is not known
    Used to state an action without specifying who did it, when it was, where it occurred, etc.
7
どこからともなく         
I can hear music from somewhere.
2
いつから ともなく ここ         なった  
At some point, here (this area) became a popular sight-seeing spot.

Getting the sentences
Construction
(Elements in parentheses are optional.)
AQuestion word
ともなく
AQuestion word
ともなしに
What is a question word?
Since this expression is used to show an unknown person/place/time that is tied to an action, the question words どこ, いつ, だれ, etc. are typically combined with a particle in this construction.
Basic Examples
だれか
どこへ
いつから
どちらか
Where this grammar is found


User notes
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Discussion about this grammar
avatar
Years Studied: まあ、ね!
Studying: N1
Level: 1, : 411
Any relation here to ついに?
1
12 years ago
avatar
Site admin
Level: 110, : 6,634
Howso? ついに is (as far as I know) used to mean 'finally'.
1
12 years ago
avatar
Years Studied: まあ、ね!
Studying: N1
Level: 1, : 411
Hmmm...maybe drop the に then?
http://dev.jgram.org/pages/viewOne.php?tagE=tsui
0
12 years ago (Edited 12 years ago.)
avatar
Site admin
Level: 110, : 6,634
Yea, looks pretty close to that one :)
0
12 years ago
avatar
Years Studied: since 2000
Studying: のため、だから
Level: 913, : 4,999
this can also be used with question words ie どこへともなく,いつからともなく
1
11 years ago
avatar
Site admin
Level: 110, : 6,634
Added, thanks!
0
11 years ago
Years Studied: 5
Studying: N1
Level: 1, : 62
As someone said before, this phrase can attach to a question word (apparently cannot take any other pronouns or nouns). According to the grammar resource I'm using, it essentially means that the origin of or reason for something can't be clearly determined. I know that the usage is pointed out above (somewhat), but I feel like the distinction deserves a separate entry or additional clarification.
1
8 years ago
avatar
Years Studied: since 2013
Level: 1, : 3

Just a few things I thought might help clarify this point for anyone learning it.


The explanation of this point is confusing people, based on what I can see in the user sentences section. People seem to mistakenly believe you can use this like -ずに or なしに but you can't. ともなく is used to describe things you do by accident. For example, two people are chatting near you on the bus and without intending to you end up eavsdropping because they were loud and it was hard not to. It is also often used for an unexpeced outcome (wihtout meaning to, I overheard this conversation on the bus and realised they were talking about someone I knew. I was mindlessly watching TV when breaking news of an aeroplane crash came on). You cannot use it to mean "without doing x, I did y". "Without itending to" appears to be what's confusing people because it has two meanings in English: "with no specific intention, thoughtlessly, mindlessly, accidentally, without meaning to" and "without the intention of doing something specific". Only the first one applies here. People also seem to think that the presence of "without" means you can say "he walked away, without looking back" which would actually use -ずに or まま. Changing the explanation might make it clearer.


Also, the explanation is not detailed enough. The verb that precedes ともなく and the verb that comes after must be the same (or have similar meaning like る and める). I have noticed that the verb after ともなく often ends in たら (e.g. いていたら), particularly when something unexpected happens. It is also often only used with specific verbs such as る or く. These verbs are usually ones you can do both deliberately and without meaning to (I think we can agree you don't typically unintentionally run somewhere or unconsiously start cooking and realise that you have started to make a chicken stir-fry but you can just happen to see something while mindlessly staring out a window).


Below is a quote from どんなどう使 on how this point should be used [addition for clarity not found in the original]:

"Unconsciously; without paying attention... Act with no particular purpose or intent in mind. Verbs of same type of action precede and follow such as る、う、く、える、etc. Often used when uncounsciously doing something and an unexpected event occurs. Also used in idiomatic expressions as in [example] sentences 4 and 5." pg. 254


When used with a question word it takes on meanings like: I don't know when (it started), I don't know where (they are going but they left). These uses are often special idiomatic ones. マスターN1 has this to say:

はっきり~とできない。pg.31

Given that this use is slightly different (it has it's own section in マスターN1) and a slightly different meaning, perhaps the two structures should be listed separately on this page rather than as variations of the same thing. This has been previously suggested by .

3
4 years ago
avatar
Site admin
Level: 110, : 6,634
Thanks so much! I've made a few changes to the structure of the page, and I would love your thoughts on the changes.
0
4 years ago
avatar
Years Studied: since 2013
Level: 1, : 3

Yep, this looks good to me (^-^)b.

0
4 years ago



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