I was wondering if you guys could help me understand the adverb いちいち a little better. From my understanding in the following sentence it serves the purpose of "Every single" as in " Because you don't have to look into every single fare to your destination at the station or buy tickets its a convenient thing to have" Is this the correct interpretation of it in the sentence?


But according to jisho.org it can serve the meanings of 1.)"one-by-one; separately" and as I interpreted it in the above sentence as 2.)"every single; each and every; without omission; fully; in detail"

It seems like there is a bit of overlap between the definitions but what I'm wondering is can it actually take the definition of "one-by-one; separately" or does it almost always take the definition of "every single; each and every; without omission; fully; in detail". Also, what kind of situations would いちいち be used in besides the above sentence? If you could give an overview/explanation of the adverb in general it would be super appreciated as well!



1 Answer 1


The most important point is that いちいち almost always has a negative connotation. This adverb describes something annoying/trivial/unnecessary is done all the time.

For example, ひとつひとつ説明する (to explain one by one / step by step) is neutral, but いちいち説明する means "to bother to explain; to explain something while (I) don't want to do that". いつもありがとう (thanks always) is OK, but いちいちありがとう sounds clearly sarcastic and offending. You can find various other expressions using いちいち here.

I think you can use all those words and phrases (fully, in detail, one by one, every single, ...) to translate sentences like 「いちいち説明するな」, as long as these words are used to emphasize how the speaker thinks something is trivial/annoying.

The example sentence in jisho.org, ジョンが品物をいちいち手に取って見た, is not neutral, either. If you just want to say 'take a look one by one', you have to say 品物をひとつひとつ手にとって見た. On the other hand, いちいち手に取って見た implies that John doesn't have to do so, or someone doesn't want him to do so.


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