What differences are there between にとって and として ?

To the best of my understanding, both have meanings of stating something from a certain point of view or perspective. However, I think that there's some kind of nuance/grammar pattern between them that renders them noninterchangeable.

For one, I guess it's ok to say



But you couldn't reverse the two to say



Intuitively, I'm thinking it has something to do with volitionality?

  • 1
    Where did you learn to say 「~~にとして」?
    – user4032
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 14:01
  • 1
    @l'électeur Whoops! I've corrected the question and dropped に. Thanks!
    – akj
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 14:04
  • 1
    If you check tatoeba.org, for 私にとって, there are 2 results, where for 私として there are 28. For 僕にとって, there are 2 results, where for 僕にとして there is one. Pronouns seem to be more commonly used with にとって than として. Tobira says にとって is used when something is important to someone or something, "Often a person, geographic unit, or an organization." However, in tatoeba, 人間 is used more often with にとって than として. Maybe because humanity is like a group of people. Anyway, just an observation. Hoped that helped a little.
    – Coupon22
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 2:39

3 Answers 3


In my head, it basically works like this:

X として = As X
X にとって = For X

They can sometimes be interchangeable in the sense that they both make sense, but the meaning is a little different:

  1. として、許せないことだ
    As a parent, it's an unforgivable thing.
  2. にとって、許せないことだ
    For a parent, it's an unforgivable thing.

Same with the murder example. 〜として would mean “As humans, murder is a bad thing”, and 〜にとって would mean “For humans, murder is a bad thing.”

In many cases, only one of them will make sense:

  • 学校として、子供を守らないといけない
    As a school, we have to protect our children.
  • にとって、ハワイに行くのは夢だ
    For me, going to Hawaii is a dream.

〜として goes better with categorical nouns

〜として will more often take categorical nouns, as opposed to specific nouns. For example, 男 is a category, while 僕 is a specific person. “As a man…” or “As men…” is more natural than “As me…”.

But when you add at the end to make 〜としては, it will work with any kind of noun, common or specific. オバマとしては〜, マイクロソフトとしては〜, 君としては〜, are all fine.



とって can be for me
として can be as someone.

These are correct, and can be translated into English.

For me, this is the thing I hate.
Murder is never allowed as human being.

Sounds strange, but I can understand as Japanese.
These can not be translated into proper English.

I hate this thing as me.

For human, murder is never allowed.

It's difficult for me to explain it, so I'll simply write some facts here.

  1. 僕にとって、これは大嫌い is ungrammatical but 僕としてこれは大嫌い or 僕がこれが大嫌い are fine, and of course you can convert がs to は. 「僕にとってこれは大嫌いなものだ」 is also fine.

  2. 人間として、人殺しはいけないことだ is fine, though it's inversion of 「人殺しは、人間としていけないことだ」.

  3. 僕として、これは大嫌い doesn't make sense but 僕としてこれは大嫌い is fine.

  4. 人間にとって、人殺しはいけないことだ is fine.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .