How to use どころ( = dokoro)


= Kono atsusa de matsuri dokoro janai wa…

= This is way too hot to go to the festival.

Hi everyone! 元気?= Genki? = How are you doing? It is getting hotter and hotter in Japan.
I was going to go to a festival but  no way!  I can’t go out in this heat.

Today I will teach you the expression

~どころではない  = dokoro dewa nai

~ どころじゃない  = dokoro janai)  ( casual )

and other expression with どころ  (  = dokoro)

Let’s take a look at the picture first.


= Kono atsusa de matsuri dokoro janai wa…

= This is way too hot to go to the festival.

Vocab :

*この = kono = this

*暑さ = atsusa = heat

* = de = a particle to indicate the cause

*祭り = matsuri = a festival

*どころじゃない =  dokoro janai = far from, it is not the time/situation to do something, out of the question

* =  wa  =  female suffix to make one’s point

 !star! How to form

*verb plain form/ adjective / noun + どころではない  ( = dokoro dewa nai) / (casual) どころじゃない ( = dokoro janai)

★When to use ~どころではない ( = dokoro dewa nai)  / (casual) どころじゃない ( = dokoro janai)

1) When you are extremely preoccupied with something and there is no way/time to do something/ you can’t afford to do something.
There are something far more important to take care of rather than doing something./ Your current concerns are way more important than something.
Or when you are in situation where there is no way to do something.

Ex. 今、忙しくて旅行どころではない

= Ima isogashikute ryokou dokoro dewa nai.

= I am really busy now and there is no way to find a time to go traveling.

Ex. 明日、試験だから漫画を読んでいるどころではない

= Ashita,shiken dakara manga wo yonde iru dokoro dewa nai.

= I’ve got exams tomorrow so I have absolutely no time to read a comic book./ It is not the time to read a comic book.


= 「Karaoke ni ikanai?」

= Do you want to go sing Karaoke?


= Taichou ga warukute karaoke dokoro janai no.

= I have been under the weather and there is no way to go sing Karaoke.

Ex. せっかくハワイに行ったのに寒くて泳ぐどころではなかった

= Sekkaku Hawai ni itta noni samukute oyogu dokoro dewa nakatta.

= I went to all the way to Hawaii but it was too cold to swim.  (There was no way to swim in the cold weather.)

Ex. 仕事が大変で、恋愛どころではない

= Shigoto ga taihen de renai dokoro dewa nai.

= I have to work so hard that there is no time for romance.

2) When you compare two things/ people where there is no comparison between them.

( A is far from B /  far more  ~ than B)

Ex. あの先生はすばらしい先生だ。マギー先生どころではない

= Ano sensei wa subarashii sensei da. Maggie sensei dokoro de wanai.

= That teacher is great. He is nothing like Maggie Sensei.

Ex. あのホテルは新しくて豪華だ。ワンワンホテルどころではない

= Ano hoteru wa atarashikute gouka da. Wanwan Hoteru dokoro dewa nai.

= That hotel is brand new and luxurious. It is far better than Wanwan Hotel.

3) When you point out something is understated and the fact is more extreme than that. The fact is much stronger from what is said.

“The word ~ is not enough. It is far from ~ “

Ex. あの店は高いどころじゃない

= Ano mise wa takai dokoro janai.

= That restaurant (store/bar/shop) is way too expensive.

(That place is expensive is understated.  It is beyond “expensive”)

Note : It is similar to なんてものではない ( = nante mono dewa nai) (more causal なんでもんじゃない = nante monjanai)

Ex. あの店は高いなんてものではない

= Ano mise wa takai nante mono dewa nai.



= Ano mise wa takai nante mon janai.

Ex. 彼女の日本語はうまいどころじゃない

= Kanojo no nihongo wa umai dokoro janai.

= Her Japanese is way too good to be described just “good” . / Her Japanese is beyond “good”.

Ex. 「今日は暑いね。」

= Kyou wa atsui ne.

= It is hot today, isn’t it?


= Atsui dokoro janaiyo.

= It is beyond hot.  (The word “not” is not enough to describe this heat.)

Note :

If you want to emphasize more, you also say


= dokoro no sawagi dewa nai

(casual どころの騒ぎじゃない= dokoro no sawagi janai)

Ex. 暑いどころの騒ぎではない

= Atsui dokoro no sawagi de wa nai.

どころ ( = dokoroka) : not even ~ but ~  / let alone ~  / far from

Ex. 一万円どころ千円も持っていない。

= Ichiman en dokoro ka sen en mo motte inai.

=  I don’t have 1,000 yen let alone 10,000 yen.

Ex. コンピューターを直すのに千円どころ1万円かかった。

= Konpyuutaa wo naosu noni sen-en dokoro ka ichiman-en kakatta.

= Far from costing 1,000 yen, it cost me 10,000 yen to fix the computer.

Ex. 日本語は書くことどころ話すことも出来ない。

= Nihongo wa kaku koto dokoro ka hanasu koto mo dekinai.

= I can’t speak Japanese let alone write it.

Ex. 彼女は料理ができないどころ卵さえ割れない。

= Kanojo wa ryouri ga dekinai dokoro ka tamago sae warenai.

= Far from being able to cook, she can’t even crack an egg.

Ex. 夫は手伝ってくれるどころ手伝って欲しいときにはどこかにでかけてしまう。

= Otto wa tetsudatte kureru dokoro ka tetsudatte hoshii toki niwa dokoka ni dekakete shimau.

= My husband is hardly helpful. Whenever I need his help he just disappears.

Ex. 彼は歌が上手いどころプロの歌手にもなれるぐらいだ。

= Kare wa uta ga umai dokoro ka puro no kashu ni mo nareru guraida.

= He is not just good at singing. He could be professional singer!

Ex. 今年はボーナスどころ給料も減らされるみたいだ。

= Kotoshi wa bounasu dokoroka kyuuryou mo herasareru mitaida.

= I heard our salary will be cut so we can forget about getting bonuses this year.

Ex. 漢字が読めないどころひらがなも読めません。

= Kanji ga yomenai dokoro ka hiragana mo yomemasen.

= Forget about reading kanji. I can’t even read hiragana.

Ex. 人手不足で契約社員どころアルバイトも見つからない。

= Hitode busoku de keiyaku shain dokoro ka arubaito mo mitsukaranai.

= Due to a labor shortage, we can’t even find part-time workers let alone full-time employees.

4) それどころ ( = soredokoroka) on the contrary, in fact, rather, quite the contrary
You mention something and connect with それどころ(=soredokoroka)  and then say something contrary (or even more extreme) fact/state.

Ex. 彼はケチなんかじゃないよ。それどころかこの間、お寿司をおごってくれたんだよ。

= Kare wa kechi nanka janai yo. Sore dokoro ka konoaida, osushi wo ogotte kuretan dayo.

= He is far from cheap. (On contrary) In fact, he even treats me to sushi.

maggie-senseiマギー先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei


= Kyou wa atsukute shigoto dokoro janai kara mou kono hen de owarimasu.

= It is too hot to work today so I will wrap it up for now.


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  1. Maggie sensei,

    I have question about this usage of どころではない

    Ex. あの先生はすばらしい先生だ。マギー先生どころではない。

    = That teacher is great. He is nothing like Maggie Sensei.

    Is the hint of dokorodehanai is “He is so great,Maggie is not great” Or
    He is so great but Maggie is greater?

    But to me, Maggie is greater :))

  2. こんにちは、マギー先生!このレッスンはありがとう!

  3. Hello Miss Maggie and Yukari.
    I’ve been into this nonsense adventure for five years now (with two continuous years without attending formal classes).
    I must thank you both from the bottom of my heart because I’ve learned more with you than with anyone else (and it’s been only 30 minutes since I visited your site for the first time!)
    Thank you for making look the study of the Japanese language as something as normal as breathing :wink:
    I miss those days when I’ve had just started! The illusions I had about starting this life proyect.
    Your explanations are clear and concise and I appreciate much that. I feel like I’ve lose so much time and now I hope to be able to go forward without hesitating anymore.
    I wish to be as good as you Maggie 先生, someday :wink:
    So that I can if possible, help fellow Japanese learners to be better regardless of their level of English (I’m a native Spanish speaker)
    これからもずっと、応援します。 !heartsippai!

    1. @ブルーナイト
      Sorry for the late reply. I’m on vacation now.Thank you for your nice message!
      When we make a lesson, we think of all of you hoping you enjoy learning Japanese. So we are VERY happy to hear you get to learn something from our lessons. We hope you keep studying Japanese with fun! これからもまたこのサイトに来てくださいね。

  4. In
    They translate 彼は馬鹿どころではない as “He is no fool”.

    Why is that? It should mean “he is very stupid”, is it not?

    Second question) Can I instead write

    Third question) If someone say 「わんわんホテルどころではない」, without any context, can I deduce anything from that sentence, like わんわんホテル is inferior or superior than the one speaker has in mind?

    よろしくおねがいします (I wanted to say “thank you in advance”, is there any phrase more specific?)

    (わんわん is a dog’s bark, right? It would be weird to stay at “arf arf hotel”. >_<

    1. @Pete

      1) That’s the tricky part of ~どころではない
      どころではない could be 1) Far from ~ (negating ) “far from stupid! 2) beyond ~ (beyond stupid. Not just stupid. Really stupid) You always have to read what comes after that sentence (Ex. すごく頭がいい・Ex. 本当にばかだ or example stroesi how smart/stupid he is.)and figure out the context.

      2) Hmm I think you meant 新しくないし豪華ではない・or 豪華でもない。(or colloquial 豪華じゃない)
      And are you comparing わんわんホテル with “that hotel(あのホテル)? If so, あのホテルどころではない

      3) this questions is related to my answer to your first question. You really have to know the context. It may sound confusing but usually we can tell in conversation because both speakers and listeners know what they are talking about.

      * Yes, よろしくお願いします is Thank you in advance.
      * Yes, わんわん means Arf Arf. I am a dog so there is nothing weird to stay at Arf Arf Hotel. :)

  5. As always your lessons do not disappoint! Courtney has leveled up! :uparrow: :up!!: マギーせんせい、ありがとうございました!!!

    1. @zoheb

      no errors were found = 間違いは、ありませんでした。= machigai wa arimsen deshita.
      Really? Amazing!! lol

      Thank you, zoheb!!!

      1. あいにく一つ見つけ出しました。絶望したー。 A “tokoro” where there should be a “dokoro”. !damedame! 

        I wanted my first comment to be positive, but here I go again…
        What I wanted to say was: you’re amazing. Best Japanese learning site on the web, hands down. I’ve been reading a gazillion books and sites, but thanks to you, I’m finally getting somewhere. I’m from Germany btw., and you have no idea how boring German textbooks on japanese are. And you won’t find any spoken Japanese in it, you can easily go up the JLPT ladder without understanding a word in an anime. Thanks to you, thats changing now.

        Anyhow, since I’m German, I always want to know every detail. So, I hope you don’t mind my questions on minor things. Like this:

        日本語は書くことどころか話すことも出来ない。 vs. 漢字が読めないどころかひらがなも読めません。

        In the first sentence, you use a verb transformed into a noun, in the second a negative verb. I always wonder whats the difference in meaning, when and why do you use こと instead of for example 日本語は書けないどころか話せません。

        Also, I’m confused with the wordorder. If I wantet to say: “Thats not a chicken, thats not even a bird!” Would that be これは鳥どころか鶏じゃありません。 or the other way around. And, if I wanted to say the positive version: “Thats not just a bird, thats a chicken!”, would the order be the same? Because the order changes in English and German, wich makes it confusing and I too tired to find the solution in your examples. It’s 5am here but I can’t just stop in the middle of a lesson, can I.!sleepy!

        And thirdly, I noticed that you omit the “する” in what I would think are suru-verbs. Would it also be correct if you added a “する” like this:


        1. @Zetsuboumanadeshi

          Hello! Zetsuboumanadeshi!
          Thank you for spotting the typo. I fixed it! だから、絶望しないで〜〜!!

          So happy to read your nice message. ありがとう!

          OK, let me see your questions.
          日本語は書くことどころか話すことも出来ない。 vs. 漢字が読めないどころかひらがなも読めません。

          OK, as you noticed, there are two ways of saying “can do ~ / to be able to do~”

          Verb +れる/られる/える etc.

          To be able to write = 書ける or 書くことができる
          to be able to read = 読める or 読むことができる
          They mean the same.

          Word order:
          “Thats not a chicken, thats not even a bird!”

          Positive version
          “Thats not just a bird, thats a chicken!”,
          (But it may look hard to understand because readers don’t think “chicken” is something good.”

          It will be easier to understand if you add ただの(= just)
          or without using どころ

          Hope you get to sleep well tonight.


          You can say 旅行するどころではない but I’d say 旅行どころではない is more common.
          Google Search result 旅行するどころではない hits just 8 while 旅行どころではない hits 7410 sites.
          OK, let me see your questions.
          日本語は書くことどころか話すことも出来ない。 vs. 漢字が読めないどころかひらがなも読めません。

          OK, as you noticed, there are two ways of saying “can do ~ / to be able to do~”

          Verb +れる/られる/える etc.

          To be able to write = 書ける or 書くことができる
          to be able to read = 読める or 読むことができる
          They mean the same.

          Word order:
          “Thats not a chicken, thats not even a bird!” Would that be これは鳥どころか鶏じゃありません。

          1. ありがとうございました、今やよっぽど理解しますよ。寝ぼけなければ物事ははっかりするね。ちなみに、間違いがもう一つあります。一人ぼっちにされたローマ字のnakuがありますけどかなのは見当たりません。 :oops:

          2. @Zetsuboumanadeshi

          3. 見つけました。タイプミスです。
            = Hitode busoku de keiyaku shain dokoro ka !naku! arubaito mo mitsukaranai.

  6. 初めまして。私は日本人ですが、英語を勉強する私にとってもすごく分かりやすく解説されています!

    Hi Magggie sense. Hajimemashite.
    I’m Japanese and I study English.
    It’s very easy to understand even for me, who’s Japanese. This blog will help not only the people who are learning Japanese but also Japanese who are learning English.
    I always look forward to your uploading! Thank you!!!

    1. @hitomi

      こんにちは、Hitomiさん!Welcome to!
      日本人の方も英語の勉強に来てくれていると聞き本当に嬉しいです。 boucingheart!

    2. Hello hitomi!

      I took the liberty of making a couple of corrections to your sentences, I hope it helps.

      It’s very easy to understand even for me, who’s Japanese.

      This one doesn’t sound that natural, even if it is almost correct(the correct would be “even for me, who am Japanese”)

      The best option would be: It’s very easy to understand even for me, a Japanese(person).

      I always look forward to your uploading! Thank you!!!

      This just needs a small adjustment: “I always look forward to your uploads!”

      Your English already sounds pretty great! 頑張って!

  7. Thanks for the lesson! I have never heard of this expression before, but I understand it now. It is just a bit confusing because it uses the negative form, so it sounds like it means the exact opposite of what it means.

    For example: あの店は高いどころじゃない。 here you say the store is so expensive that it is beyond expensive, but at fist I had to read it a few more times to understand it completely, because to me it sounded like the sentence means the store is not expensive at all.

    Thinking about that created a doubt in my mind. How do I say the opposite of どころじゃない。?

    Using the same sentence as an example, how do I say the store is really cheap? Could I use あの店は安いどころじゃない。? And is there a way to change the meaning and say that the store is far from expensive but meaning that the store is cheap?


    Q:Is this store expensive?
    A: No, this store is far from expensive. (meaning that the store is really cheap)

    1. @reid

      Hi reid,

      I see. Because it says ~ない, you automatically think this sentence is a negative sentence.
      If that store is not expensive, you say
      あの店は高くない。 = That store is not expensive.
      あの店は全く(全然)高くない。= That store is not expensive at all.
      あの店は高いどころじゃない= That store is beyond expensive. → Really expensive.

      Yes, you want to describe a really cheap store you can say
      That store is REALLY cheap. (Just saying “cheap” is not good enough)

  8. Sensei: itsumo omoshirokute totemo yakunitatsu lesson wo tsukutte itadaite doumo arigotougozaimasu!! Sensei ha “ichiou” nikansuru lesson wo shimashitaka. Watashiha “ichiou” toiutango yoku kikimasuga tsukaikataha yoku wakarimasen…

    Dehakorekara mo yoroshikuonegai shimasu !heart3! !sushimaguro! :lol:

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