In conversation, we use "of course," "naturally" "as you know," etc. to announce "I'm about to say something that you know and is obvious; but I need to say it as background to what I'll say afterwards, just to remind you of the context."

An example might be "Of course, in 2021 Covid travel restrictions were in place, so using it as a base year for comparisons of tourism activity is problematic." (It's also true that in the wrong hands such expressions can sound haughty, such as "Of course, in 1648 the Treaty of Westphalia was completed..." when your interlocutor probably has no idea of what the Treaty of Westphalia even is. But I still think such expressions are useful and, used properly, respectful of the listener.)

At any rate, the three (possible) Japanese equivalents that I know of are 当たり前 (あたりまえ ), もちろん, and 当然 (maybe 当然ながら? 当然ですが?) Are there other, more appropriate terms? Or perhaps the whole issue is less important in Japanese? Or perhaps for a Japanese speaker, my question is seen in a much different way than I'm stating it, and such expressions are used in a much different way?

1 Answer 1


当然ながら is the safest in formal opinion statements, academic articles, etc. 当たり前だが is okay, but I think it has a larger risk of sounding haughty. もちろん is also okay, but it tends to sound slightly less academic. 無論 (works like a standalone conjunctive) is another option, but it's a pompous expression that should be used sparingly.

In polite speech, you can use もちろん, ご存じでしょうが, ご存じかもしれませんが, 当然と思われるかもしれませんが, and so on.

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