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I've been using Bunpro to review grammar and came across the following example sentence:

外国人だけど、着物を着る______、日本人みたいになった。

The site is looking for だけで (just by) as the answer, which I understand in hindsight. However, my initial answer was ばかりに.

Does this answer also make sense? If so, is there a difference in meaning or connotation between the two?

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They are very different.

  • A だけで B: B just by/with/using A (quite straightforward)
    • cf. A だけに B: B, true to its (name, form, nature, reputation...) being A
  • A(-u)ばかりに B: so much A that B [some ironical result]
    • cf. A(-ta)ばかりに B B [unexpected result] merely due to A
    • cf. A(-u)ばかりで: only to A; only keep doing A
      • cf. A ばかりで B: usually a negative comment of the speaker in B, or a formula B' しない to say do all times A and nothing B'

So, only だけで makes sense here.

Further:

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It doesn't make sense. Dictionaries say that ただそれだけの原因・理由で、事態が悪化するような結果が導かれることを表す. For example, 「ちょっと油断をしたばかりに、とんでもないことになってしまった」 「ちょっと口をすべらしたばかりに、すっかり怒らせてしまった」.

If the speaker doesn't like to be seen as a Japanese. 外国人だけど、着物を着ばかりに、日本人みたいになった makes sense.

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