So I've been going over past JLPT N1 tests, and I came across this sentence:


Now a definition for this one I got from the Goo thesaurus:


But this also reminded me a sentence from GITS:


I'm still not sure what the above means...even the different translations can't agree on what this means. I did find a Weblio thesaurus entry that gives perhaps a fitting defintion:


But I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around why these two definitions are so radically different. What basic meaning does どころ have that enables it to be so versatile as to fit into these various grammatical patterns?

2 Answers 2


The definition in Goo thesaurus seems a bit confusing. In the もうかるどころじゃない example, of course the speaker generally understands that making a profit is important. ("Making a profit is unimportant" is もうかることは重要じゃない)

(noun / plain form of a verb / plain form of an adjective) + どころじゃない is used in three ways:

  1. Specifies something is totally wrong. The fact is quite opposite.
  2. Specifies something is an understatement. The fact is far stronger / more extreme than that.
  3. Specifies something is not the speaker's current concern. The speaker has something far more important which has to be focused on.

In any way, what the speaker really has in mind is not something specified by どころじゃない. The "important fact" usually follows the ~どころじゃない part, but it may be omitted.

In your first example, (経費がかかりすぎて)もうかるどころじゃない is used in the first sense. He strongly denies that he is making a profit, and implies the fact is quite opposite (he's losing money).

One more example for the meaning 1.:


But you can use the same phrase in the second sense (~ is an understatement) like this:

宝くじの1等を当てると儲かるか、だって? 儲かるどころじゃないよ、一生遊んで暮らせるよ!


If the latter part is omitted, you may have to infer from the context whether it is used in the first sense or the second sense.

In your インターセプター example, それどころじゃなかった is used in the third sense. The speaker couldn't take care of "それ" (whatever), because インターセプターの件 (the issue about the interceptor, although I don't what it is) was far more important. Although Weblio says it's "時間が足りないこと", I think shortage of time is one of the possible reasons.

今、それどころじゃない。後でね。 ≒ I'm occupied. I don't have time to talk to you now.

I can't concentrate on study because the TV show is distracting me. (not because he has no time to study)


As you may have guessed, それどころじゃない is a どころじゃない attached to a pronoun それ. It expresses that there is some more important issue than the topic the other speaker is talking about (which is referred to with それ), and that he/she doesn't have enough remaining capacity to spare for the other speaker's topic.

※事故る = casual contraction of 事故にあう

This sentence can be parsed as: 車が事故っちゃって電話をするどころじゃなかったんだよ, with それ refering to making a phone call, and implies that he/she was too busy and worried about the car accident to make a phone call.

Despite the Weblio description, sometimes それどころじゃない can be used in a non-temporal context. like:


To conclude, While それどころじゃない could be defined as a special usage of どころじゃない, I don't think there is any major difference between (noun/verb/etc.+)どころじゃない and (それ+)どころじゃない. If you still find it incomprehensible, please ask me back.

  • 1
    – user1016
    Nov 24, 2014 at 8:54
  • ごめんなさい、間違えました! 訂正しておきました。ご指摘ありがとうございました。
    – isayamag
    Nov 24, 2014 at 9:17

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