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I have a question about the meanings and usage of いいように. I thought that it only has one meaning, which is "to act as one wills, to do something as one wills". Like in the example below.

彼らは、いいように[操]{あやつ}られている。

They are being led by the nose.

At least before I saw the dialogue below, specifically this sentence - あくまでもいいように[捉]{とら}えればと言うことだが。. I was told that here いいように has the meaning same as よい方. And as far as I can understand, translation would sound something like "But only if I take it from the positive side." or "But only positively speaking.". Unfortunately I couldn't find this meaning/translation in dictionaries. So, could you please explain me the this expression.

鈴:「じゃ、それで何か楽しいことしないと損じゃない?」

私:「[損得勘定]{そん・とく・かん・じょう}の問題でもないように思いますけどね、これは」

鈴:「なにさ、[相変]{あい・か}わらず細かいなー君は」

鈴さんが[鷹揚]{おう・よう}過ぎるのだと思う。あくまでもいいように捉えればと言うことだが。

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捉える=とらえる here, not つかまえる –  naruto Jun 6 at 22:34

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You are discussing two meanings of 「いいように」 here:

  1. At X's will; In whatever way that's convenient to X; As X likes

  2. (quite literally) In a good manner; In a positive way; Rightly; Nicely

The first いいように is an idiom, usually used with certain verbs such as 「扱う」「利用する」「あしらう」. It's not interchangeable with 「よい方に」 or 「よく」. Very often this いいように implies this person X is evil. That's why it's in dictionaries. (If it's you who asks to treat yourself freely, then there is no evil sense: 「私のことはいいように使ってください。 」 = "Please use me as you like.")

The second meaning is quite literal, and that's why you couldn't find it in dictionaries. 「いいように捉【とら】える」 is literally translated as "catch (it) in a good way", and you really have いいように translated this 「いいように」.

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