How can I express "at least" in the sense of "it would be worse otherwise"? For example, "[It may be cold, but] at least it's not raining," or "[We're lost, but] at least we're together."

I sometimes want to make this kind of comment in Japanese but I haven't come across anything in my studies that seems equivalent.

Thank you!

  • How about ...が、少なくとも... – user3856370 Jul 28 '18 at 8:19

You can use a very handy set phrase, 少なくとも【すくなくとも】.

少なくとも works when you talk about a quantity (you may already know this):

  • 少なくとも100万円は必要です。 We need at least 1 million yen.
  • 少なくとも5年は勉強しなさい。 You must study at least for 5 years.

And it also works when you talk about a situation that is better than something even worse:

  • 少なくとも雨は降っていない。 At least it's not raining.
  • 少なくとも何もしないよりはいい。 It's at least better than doing nothing.

As you may have noticed, the contrastive-は is often used with this expression. (は on its own can have the meaning of "at least".)

(I answered this question because you seem to be new to this site and it can be seen as a focused , but please always try to include your prior effort/research in your question. Otherwise, it may be closed as an effortless bulk translation request.)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.