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I don't understand "安い方" here (especially "方")

I think it means something like "Even if the flat is somewhat far it's good that it's cheap" but it would be "アパートは多少遠くても、安いがいい。"

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  • You used "far" in your translation attempt. Maybe this 遅い is typo for 遠い, which makes more sense to me?
    – naruto
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 2:15
  • You're right, I edited,
    – neo2500
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 2:17
  • Welcome! Good luck in your studies! Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 2:29

2 Answers 2

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In this case, 方 is used to compare 2 options.
The 2 options are assumed to be "expensive" and "cheap".
So it basically emphasize that cheap is the better option.

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  • So it means that it's better to take the cheapest one ? (there are 2 flats ?)
    – neo2500
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 2:19
  • in this case it simply says that you prefer it to be cheap than expensive, no matter the distance speaking in general. If you say 安いアパートの方がいいです。 That would mean that your prefer the cheap apartment, referring to 1 in particular. Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 2:23
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方 is used when something is compared with another thing. In such contexts it's read as ほう. 方 is not always required to make a comparison in Japanese, but if you are a beginner, you should start from basic sentences using ほう.

安いがいい is ungrammatical because an adjective cannot be the subject of a sentence unless it's turned into a noun in some way. (For example, you can say "Being beautiful is good", but not "Beautiful is good.") Luckily, 方 works as a noun, and adjective + 方 simply means "~er one(s)".

アパートは多少遠くても、安い方がいい。
(lit.) As for apartments, cheaper ones are better even if they're a bit far.
I prefer cheaper apartments even if they're a bit far (from my office, etc).

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