What's the difference between 一応{いちおう} and とりあえず?

While I think they can both mean "tentatively" or "for the time being", there seems to be a difference in their usage. How do the two translate differently into English?

After reading this Space ALC Japanese Q&A page, I'm interpreting it as that 一応 has a negative nuance of something being "unsatisfactory" but temporally doing it anyway, and that とりあえず has a positive (or possibly neutral?) nuance of "doing what you can do for the time being". Can the previous explanations work for all, or a majority of cases?

It also states that in the following sentences there isn't a lot of difference between the two:

  • お話は一応伺っておきましょう。
  • とりあえずお話は伺っておきましょう。

But I didn't understand why the two have a different position in the sentence. Would 一応お話は伺っておきましょう and お話はとりあえず伺っておきましょう also be possible?

  • 1
    The position does not matter. Both orders that you ask are possible.
    – user458
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 0:09
  • 2
    一往【いちおう】 looks way cooler.
    – istrasci
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 14:21
  • I always translated 一応 as "kind of".
    – Nate Glenn
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 17:26

1 Answer 1

  • 一応 means "as a backup", "in case something happens". It implies some redundancy.
  • とりあえず means "can't think of the best way to do at the moment/can't decide for the moment, so for the time being".

You must log in to answer this question.

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