I've heard this expression [相変]{あいか}わらず quite often before coming upon it again in this sentence: 俺は相変わらず苛立っていた that a character says as he vents his frustration on things not going right in his volleyball club. There is an explanation of this expression here, but my Japanese isn't good enough for me to understand it. Could someone give me an explanation for what it means and a few examples of it so that I could see it used in context?


2 Answers 2


Well 相変わらず simply means "as usual". It indicates something that up to this point has not changed.

In your example the character is saying: "As usual, I was irritated" (depending on the context you might be able to choose a more suitable English word than "irritated").

Does this not make sense? You can find a lot of examples of usage of 相変わらず here.

To take it a bit further, try to break it down looking at 相 and 変(変わる) separately.

NOTE: Please notice that the following is my interpretation. I plan to look more into it but I haven't found any source yet to back it up.

According to my dictionary, one of the meanings of 相 is "one's nature/destiny" or "custom/tradition" (it is indicated as one of the possible kanji for さが: 性 or 相).

The verb 変わる as you know means "to change", and 変わらず put in this form (negative plus ず) means "without changing".

So if you see it this way it should make sense that 相変わらず indicates that "the nature of something" (相) "does not change" (変わらず), which becomes the idiomatic expression "as usual".


I think 相変わらず can mean either:

「いつも通り」「いつもと変わらず」「いつもと同じく」 "as usual" "as ever" "as always"

「俺は相変わらず苛立っていた」≂「俺はいつも通り苛立っていた」"I was irritated as usual."

or 「以前と同様」「いまだに」「まだ」 "as before" "still"

「俺は相変わらず苛立っていた」≂「俺はまだ苛立っていた」"I was still irritated."

Examples from Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary (プログレッシブ和英中辞典):

  • 祭日だというのに父は相変わらず忙しい。
    Even though it's a holiday, my father is (as) busy as usual.
  • 彼女は相変わらず彼に好意を持っていた。
    She still liked him.

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