I recently came across this expression「〜わりに(は)」 An example:

Apples are delicious, considering how cheap they are.

What I don't understand is why?

The dictionary entry for わり brings up the following definitions (thanks jisho.org):

  1. rate; ratio; proportion; percentage​
  2. profit​
  3. assignment​
  4. 10%; unit of ten percent​
  5. match; schedule of matches​
  6. diluted with (of drinks); mixed with
  7. Wari (place)

In the example above, わり modifies 安い, and I just can't understand how to translate it literally?

One interesting thing is that I found this definition in a J-J dictionary:

5 (「…わりに」の形で)ある事から予想・推測される程度。…に応じた程度よりは。「値段の割りに品物がよい」「若い割りには礼儀正しい」

Which loosely translates to:

(In the form of わりに): More than expected/guessed.

So I'm wondering whether this is just an additional definition to わり (like an exception the applies in this specific form), or there is some historical reason, or perhaps a literal translation that makes sense.

2 Answers 2


I think the わり means the #1: rate, proportion. In my opinion, "rather" can work as well.


Apples are delicious, considering that it is rated as "inexpensive" of the three categories: "inexpensive," "reasonable," and "expensive."

Apples are delicious, considering that they are rather cheap.


ご質問に付されている原文中の「わりには」の意味に対して、質問者様が提示されているものの中でマッチするのはJ-J dictionaryの5の意味です。

5 (「…わりに」の形で)ある事から予想・推測される程度。…に応じた程度よりは。「値段の割りに品物がよい」「若い割りには礼儀正しい」


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