According to ALC ともあれ とかく they look pretty similar and express "anyway, anyhow". I came across the following excercise where you need to choose between those two:


Apparently the right answer is ともあれ

  • I'm confused. Why did you include ともすれば and なお? Are you wanting to know how those relate too, or just ともあれ and とかく?
    – istrasci
    Oct 30, 2012 at 14:38
  • @istrasci: No, just the difference between ともあれ and とかく. The other two are there just because they were a part of the excercise.
    – buskila
    Oct 30, 2012 at 15:22
  • Is とかく related to ともかく? I haven't actually heard the former before.
    – rintaun
    Nov 26, 2012 at 20:03

1 Answer 1


You are probably confusing とかく and とにかく. ともあれ and とにかくare in fact quite close in their meaning. They are both used to carry the conversation forward, like below:


Both roughly mean "I don't know what the results will be, but the exam itself has finished". Both imply that the speaker had underwent some hassle, but that that hassle has now finished. Another examples:


とかく is quite different though and means that something has a strong (excessive) tendency to do something. For example,


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