How to use にしては & わりに(は)( = ni shite wa & warini (wa) )

April 24, 2016 in Grammar



=Watashi ni shite wa nihongo no benkyou ganbatteru yo.

= I have been studying Japanese really hard — well, really hard for me.

Hi everyone! I am Cece. Nice to meet you!

My mom is using this site to study Japanese.


= Inu ga yatte iru ni shite wa waruku nai desu ne.

= I would say it is not so bad considering this site is run by a dog.

So I’ll volunteer to be your guest teacher today.

I will teach you how to use にしては ( = ni shite wa) along with わりに(は) ( = wari ni (wa))

★How to use にしては (= ni shite wa)

☆How to form:

1) noun + にしては ( = ni shite wa)

Ex. 子供 ( = kodomo), a child + にして は ( = ni shite wa)

 :rrrr: 子供にしては  ( = kodomo ni shite wa)

* noun + ( = no) + わりに (は) * ( = warini (wa)) *割に (は) 

Ex. 子供 ( = kodomo), a child + + わりに(は) ( = wari ni (wa))

:rrrr: 子供わりに(は)( = kodomo no wari ni (wa))

☆How to use:


= A ni shite wa

= For A


= A no wari ni (wa)

= For A

★ The difference between にしては ( = ni shite wa) and わりに(は) ( = wari ni wa) (1)

This pattern is used when you want to describe something/someone that is behaving in an unexpected way or different from the usual state or how you think it is supposed to be.
It could be both negative and positive.
The word which comes before にしては ( = ni shitewa) should give the speaker and listener some specific or typical idea of the quality.
For this reason you can’t use general nouns unless you give specifics about that noun.

For example,

Ex. 彼は年のわりに元気だ。

= Kare wa toshi no wari ni genki da.

= He is in good shape for his age.

( = toshi) /年齢 ( = nenrei ) means “age”  but it’s not specific. It could be: old, young, you can’t use にしては ( = ni shitewa) .

But if you use a concrete age, you can use  にしては ( = ni shitewa) .

Ex. 彼は 60歳 にしては元気だ。

= Kare wa rokujussai ni shite wa genki da.

= He is in a good shape for 60 yeas old.

Ex. 彼は 60歳のわりに元気だ。

= Kare wa rokujussai no wari ni genki da.

= He is in a good shape for 60 yeas old.

As long as the word which comes before gives some concrete idea of the quality or degree, にしては (=ni shitewa ) is replaceable with わりに(は) (= warini (wa) )
(I’ll indicate these with an *)

Note: わりに(= warini) /わりに(=warini wa)

When you emphasize the word which comes before, add ( = wa)

Children are generally thought to be weaker than adults. So if you see a child that is comparatively strong, you would say:

Ex. 子供にしては力があるね。*

= Kodomo ni shite wa chikara ga arune.

= He/She is strong for a child.

Note: The meaning is similar to 子供なのに (= kodomo nanoni) Even though he/she is a child

You don’t want to use this expression for someone superior to you.


You think January in Japan is cold. / January is expected to be cold.

Ex. 1月は寒い。

= Ichigatsu wa samui

= January is cold / It is cold in January.

But if you found it warm for January, you would say:

Ex. 1月にしては暖かい。*

= Ichigatsu ni shite wa atatakai.

= It is warm for January.



= Haru ni shite wa mushiatsui.

= It is muggy for spring.

Also the word which comes before にしては ( = ni shite wa) often used with  “numbers / amount / age / price”

When you see a child who is bigger than the standard 10-year old child:

Ex. 10歳にしては大きいね。*

= Jussai ni shite wa ookii ne.

= He/She is big for ten years old.


Ex. このホテル、1泊6千円にしてはいいね。*

= Kono hoteru, ippaku rokusen en ni shite wa iine.

= This hotel is good for 6,000 yen per night.


= Karera wa, puro no kashu ni shite wa uta ga heta da.

= They don’t sing very well for professional singers.

Ex. 日曜日にしては道がすいている。*

= Nichiyoubi ni shitewa michi ga suite iru.

= There is not much traffic for Sunday.

Ex. 4級にしては問題が難しかった。*

= Yonkyuu ni shite wa mondai ga muzukashikatta.

= The questions were difficult for 4th level.

Ex. 子供にしては字が上手だね。*

= Kodomo ni shite wa ji ga jouzu dane.

=  He/She has good penmanship for a child.

Ex. アニメ好きにしてはアニソン何にもしらないね。*

= Animezuki ni shitewa anison nannimo shiranai ne.

= You don’t know much anime songs for an anime lover.

 !star! From picture above


=Watashi ni shite wa saikin, nihongo ganbatteru yo.

= I have been studying Japanese really hard — well, really hard for me.

Note:1) がんばってる ( = ganbatteru) is a casual contraction of がんばっている( = ganbatte iru)

In this sentence, I used にしては (= ni shite wa) because I see myself objectively.

:rrrr: First pronoun + にしては (= ni shite wa)  〜

But you don’t usually use にしては ( ni shite wa) in the following form.

X 私は、〜にしては

= Watashi wa ~ ni shite wa ~

= I am / I am not / I do/ don’t do something  ~  as ~

Ex. マギー先生は、日本語の先生にしては漢字をよく忘れるね。*

= Maggie sensei wa, nihongo no sensei ni shite wa kanji wo yoku wasureru ne.

= You tend to forget kanji a lot for a Japanese teacher, Maggie sensei.


X 私は日本語の先生にしては漢字をよく忘れる。  (Not natural)

= Watashi wa nihongo no sensei ni shitewa kanji wo yoku wasureru

:u: You say

Ex. 私は日本語の先生なのに漢字をよく忘れる。

= Watashi wa nihongo no sensei nanoni kanji wo yoku wasureru.

= Though I am a Japanese teacher, I often tend to forget kanji.

Past tense: noun + だった( = datta) + にしては ( = ni shite wa)

Ex. 彼は元プロレスラーだったにしては臆病だ。*

= Kare wa moto puroresuraa datta ni shite wa okubyou da.

= He is coward for an ex-professional wrestler.

2) verb (present/present progressive/past/ past progressive) + にしては ( = ni shite wa) : Considering ~

 :rrrr:  する(=suru)  do, will do/ している (= shiteiru)  is/are doing, has been doing / した (= shita)  did, has done/ していた  (= shiteita) was doing/ did/ had been doing + にしては (= ni shite wa)

☆ How to use: Considering ~

Expressing the contradicted fact from what you have expected.
Considering the fact you know, something/someone is not what the way you have expected.
It could be both negative or positive.

Again you can replace にしては ( = ni shitewa) with わりには ( = wari niwa) *

Ex. 掃除したにしては部屋が汚いね。*

= Souji shita ni shite wa heya ga kitanai ne.

= Considering you cleaned the room, it is dirty, isn’t it?

Ex. まだ日本語を始めて1ヶ月にしては日本語が上手ですね。*

= Mada nihongo wo hajimete ikkagetsu ni shite wa nihongo ga jouzu desune.

= Your Japanese is pretty good considering you have just started to learn a month ago.

Ex. 3時間しか寝ていないにしては元気だね。*

=  Sanjikan shika nete inai ni shite wa genki dane.

= You look pretty energetic considering you have only slept for three hours.

Ex. ダイエットをしているにしてはよく食べるね。*

= Daietto wo shiteiru ni shite wa yoku taberu ne.

= You eat a lot for someone on a diet.


★ The difference between にしては (= ni shite wa)  and わりに(は) (= no wari ni (wa)) (2)

You can’t use にしては ( = ni shitewa) with adjectives but you use わりに(は (= no wari ni (wa)) with adjectives.

★ adjective + わりに(は) ( = warini (wa))

* i-adjective

Ex. 安い ( = yasui) + わりに(は) (  = warini (wa))

* na-adjective

Ex. 元気な (= genki na) + わりに(は) ( = warini (wa) )

Ex.この寿司は 高いわりにまずい。

= Kono sushi wa takai wari ni mazui.

= This sushi is bad for the price.

Ex. 彼女は、彼がきらいなわりにいつも彼のことを楽しそうに話している。

= Kanojo wa, kare ga kirai na wari ni itsumo kare no koto wo tanoshisou ni hanashite iru.

= Even though she doesn’t like him, she always talks about him.

 boucingheart! Colloquial ways to say にしては ( = ni shitewa) and のわりには ( = no warini wa)

* にしては ( = ni shitewa)

 :rrrr: (casual contraction) にしちゃ (= ni shicha)

* のわりに(は) ( = no warini (wa) )  

 :rrrr: のわりにゃ( = no warinya) / のわりにゃあ ( = no warinyaa)

For you, that’s a pretty good job, Maggie. / Maggie did a good job for someone like her.


* マギーにしてはよくがんばったね。

 ~ Maggie ni shitewa yoku ganbatta ne.

* マギーにしちゃよくがんばったね。

=Maggie ni shicha yoku ganbatta ne.

* マギーのわりにはよくがんばったね。

= Maggie no wari niwa yoku ganbatta ne.

* マギーのわりにゃよくがんばったね。

= Maggie no wari nya yoku ganbatta ne.

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


= Cece Sensei arigatou!

= Thank you Cece Sensei.


= Watashi mo tenshi no wari niwa ganbatteru yone.

= I am working hard for an angel, huh?