I know that there are a lot of expressions that have similar meaning in Japanese. In JLPT N3 grammar, there's だけでなく that means 'not only...but also...'. And lately, I found the expression にとどまらず in JLPT N1 grammar list that has the exact meaning as だけでなく. The only difference that I know is that だけでなく can be attached to Noun, Verb, and Adjective. Meanwhile にとどまらず can only be attached to Noun and Verb. But, I want to know if there are other differences regarding their meaning and usage. Thank you

1 Answer 1


They have different meanings. Because they mean different things, you can't freely replace one by the other.

  1. 「とどまらず」is a negation of 「とどまる」, and 「のみならず」 is a negation of 「のみなり」. Here, the 「とどまる」 is a verb, the 「のみ」 is an adverbial particle, and the 「なり」 is an auxiliary verb of determination.

Having said that, the meanings the two words have are:

(1) 「とどまらない」="it does not end there"

Meaning that there is a suggestion of on-going continuousness.

(2) 「のみならず」="not limited to"

Meaning something is not limited to something, suggesting the infinite possibility.

Because the two are common in terms of not having temporal discontinuation in "continuousness" and "infinite possibility", they tend to be similar.
However, the difference between the two is that while the word 「とどまらない」 suggests "ongoing", the word 「のみならず」 suggests a state. The former is used in dynamic situations, and the latter is used in undynamic situations.

  1. Replacement

(1) 「彼は学問にとどまらず、芸術の才能がある。」(X)

Since 「才能がある("having a talent") indicates a state, 「とどまらず」 which expresses "ongoing-ness" is unsuitable.

(2) 「彼の活動範囲はAにとどまらず、Bにまで及ぶ」(✓)

If you interpret this as something "dynamic" as is "the scope of action is expanded to ...", you can use the word 「とどまらず」, and if you interpret this as a "state" as in "the scope of action throughout ...", you can also use the word 「のみならず」.

(3) 「彼は成功にとどまらず、社会貢献に尽力した」(✓)

The first one has two verbs 「(成功に)とどまらず」 and 「(社会貢献に)尽力した」, but the second one has only one verb 「(社会貢献に)尽力した」, so the word 「成功」 has no choice but to also depend on the verb 「尽力した」.
The sentence ends up meaning "became committed to both success and social contribution," and it does not render the nuance of "couldn't be content with the success and made a contribution to the society." This is because of the 「のみ」 being an adverbial particle on which a noun depends.

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    – chocolate
    Apr 22, 2016 at 9:02
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    Thank you for your answer. So, だけでなく also suggests "a state" right? But I want to ask something else. Does it have to be in formal situation for me to use にとどまらず?
    – Raka
    Apr 23, 2016 at 1:56
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    @miki This is a detailed answer, but the original question actually asks about だけでなく rather than のみならず. Do you think you could add a little bit to explain how the answer applies to だけでなく as well?
    – user1478
    Apr 23, 2016 at 7:18
  • @chocolate 「〇」は「✓」の間違いです。すみません。
    – Miki
    Apr 25, 2016 at 5:04
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    @snailboat I had to actually go look it up on the internet... Sorry... だけでなく is the colloquial version of のみならず。They both mean the same. のみならず is the old version of だけでなく。Having said that, my initial answer regarding のみならずdirectly applies to だけでなく. I apologize for my carelessness.
    – Miki
    Apr 25, 2016 at 5:13

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