5

I read that 要するに and つまり are not always interchangeable. Still, I don't really understand the difference between the two...

2

The two can be interchangeable but where as 要するに means "To summarise" or "in short". つまり is usually taken to mean "in other words":

大敗した。要するに 力の差があった。

It was a big defeat. In short, there was big difference (in strength).

財布をなくした。つまり お金がない。

I have lost my wallet. In other words, I have no money.

There is a similar word to つまり、すなわち which also means "in other words" but is not interchangeable because it does not convey a a conclusion:

母の兄、 すなわち おじさん。| My mother's elder brother. In other words my uncle.

I explain this because (I think*) in the following sentence つまり is interchangeable with either 要するに or すなわち, illustrating the nuance you are asking about.

友人の仕事は危険で、汚くて、おまけに きついらしい。ちなみにそういう仕事は俗に「3K」と呼ばれている。要するに「き」、すなわち「K」が3つつくというわけだ。

I understand my friend's work is dangerous, dirty and hard. This kind of work, incidently is commonly referred to as 3Ks work. In short the 3 "ki"s or "K"s often come together.

*I should be grateful for if others would confirm correct me on this.

1

Not 100% sure on this, but I think つまり is used more for rewording something, while 要するに is more for "summing up" the "preceding" statements into a "conclusion".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.