I just encountered the 「~ にとって」 construction, as in: 「私にとって家族は大切です。」- "Family is important to me". I think I understand what it's supposed to mean. However, I couldn't find any information about the origin of にとって , and I find origins/literal translations helpful while learning. Does anyone know anything that could help me, like where「とって」comes from?

  • 2
    Note that this can be written に取って, although it hardly ever is.
    – mamster
    Mar 14, 2018 at 19:00
  • So it's something about "taking"! Is it similar to "Take me for example; I think that X" (so take ≈ consider)? That would give a translation like "Considering me, family is important" which sounds sensible.
    – uryga
    Mar 14, 2018 at 19:31

1 Answer 1


If you are truly interested in the origin check out a detailed Japanese explanation here. Most pertinent to this usage would be [九] (1) 「ある事に引き寄せて考える。」.

If you just want to understand its usage, I would say it is closer to 'as it concerns/pertains to (myself)'.

  • Thank you! Unfortunately that's above my current skill level – I've only been studying Japanese for a year and a half...
    – uryga
    Mar 14, 2018 at 20:47
  • 1
    Keep it up! The short version (shown in answer), basically means to 'bring something (family, in this case) close (to oneself) and consider it'. Maybe you can revisit the origin issue again.
    – BJCUAI
    Mar 14, 2018 at 20:55

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