So, from my search it seems a lot of people say that there are almost no differences between による and によっては. Nevertheless, my grammar books says that によっては can be used like for "on the possibility of something happen". An example:


So this sentence, instead of translating like "Depending on the countries, euthanasia may be allowed", a more proper translation should be "Depending on the countries, there is a possibility that euthanasia may be allowed".

Whoever it also adds, that there are some exceptions, and 晴れ時々曇り、所により雨 also has a nuance of possibility that something will happen.

Can someone please add some more example sentences to explain this? It seems that による has just so many uses, and I´m getting quite confused distinguishing between them all. Thank you.


1 Answer 1


First of all, I do not necessarily think that 「~~による」 has so many usages at all. It certainly is a very useful phrase and therefore, it is used frequently, but it has a rather limited meaning and usage -- "to depend on ~~".

I naturally have no idea exactly what your grammar book says, but as a Japanese-speaker, I do know for sure that the sentence:


does not mean either

"Depending on the countries, euthanasia may be allowed" or

"Depending on the countries, there is a possibility that euthanasia may be allowed."

From where in the original Japanese sentence are you getting "may" or "possibility"?

That original sentence simply means:

"Depending on the countries, euthanasia is allowed."

Regarding the often-used expression in weather forecast:


It does not explicitly say "possibility that something will happen". It is just that weather forecast is all about possibilities in the first place. That phrase just means:

"Sunny, partly cloudy with isolated showers."

It is true, though, that 「~~による」 and 「~~によって」 appear at different places in sentences, and that may be part of your confusion.

For instnace, the sentence above about euthanasia can be rephrased as:

「安楽死が認められているかどうかは、国による/よります。」 or


Both mean the same thing as the original.

You must log in to answer this question.

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