What's the difference between による and によって?


2 Answers 2


They have the same meaning but different conjugation forms, which means, they merely differ in their ability to connect to other words.

Since よる is plain (dictionary) form, it's used as a main verb or noun qualifier.

Whether we'll be able to go on a picnic depends on the weather.

The damage (which brought about) by the earthquake is immense.

よって is the te-form of the verb, so practically it functions as a postposition leading (actually following) a sentence adverb clause.

Thanks to the hero's efforts, the world is saved.

If you swap them in a sentence, you'll usually get very different things.

ウイルスによる病気を治療する cure a disease caused by viruses
(because ~による qualifies the noun 病気.)

ウイルスによって病気を治療する cure a disease using viruses
(because ~によって qualifies the predicate 治療する.)

  • Obviously correct information, but I think the OP may have been asking about the difference when you're using both of them predicatively: 「天気によります。」 vs 「天気によってです。」, for example. Jun 4, 2015 at 21:00
  • It seems quite unlikely to me that these two could be used on the equal ground. 天気によってです sounds unnatural outside cleft sentences 「~のは、天気によってです。」. Maybe should I provide the complete conjugation paradigm of による? Jun 4, 2015 at 21:26

「によって」 is like "depending on ..."

「好きな食べ物が人によって違います。」 (It depends on the person what food he/she likes.) or (From person to person, it's different on what food he/she likes.)

while 「による」 is like "according to..."

「山口さんによると、アメリカの食べ物がおいしいです。」 (According to Mr. Yamaguchi, American food is delicious.)

Unfortunately I still don't know other uses for the two, though.

  • Why did this get downvoted? Is this troll downvoting?
    – dotnetN00b
    Jun 4, 2015 at 14:04
  • @dotnetN00b as the other answer states, による and によって are just conjugations of the same thing. 「によって」 can also mean "according to" e.g., カントによって、道徳は純粋理性に基づいている。 Related conjugations are よれば よると (detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1237587592). Consequently, this answer is not very helpful.
    – virmaior
    Jun 4, 2015 at 22:54
  • 1
    @virmaior I feel that only よれば and よると can translate "according to", though. Expressions for the idea are very idiomatic in both English and Japanese. Your example sounds very unnatural, effectively による ≈ に基づく. Jun 5, 2015 at 9:25

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