Dad tells his son who is in high school this phrase


I have difficulty comprehending the whole meaning of this phrase.

どう転んでも is some kind of idiom meaning "no matter how you do" right?

What いいように means here? According to this question, it can either mean "like/as good" (ie. "in a good manner") or "in such way that (to achieve one's own) good." I don't know which meaning fits in this context.

I know that 高校を出る means "to graduate from high school." But when だけは replaces を, how the meaning change? "graduate only from high school"? I'm confused what は is doing after だけ. If I interpret it as a contrastive は, then it makes だけ redundant. Is it a topic marker?

This is how I understand the overall meaning of this phrase

No matter how you do, just graduate from high school for your sake!

Did I get it right?

1 Answer 1



ように here means "in order to". So your second interpretation is correct.

だけ vs だけは

I personally don't differentiate between contrastive and topic marker for は, so I don't know how to answer that question but, だけ means "only", whereas だけは means "if nothing else". In this case,


would mean "Finish up to high school only (do not go to college, or anything further)". While,


would mean, "If nothing else, finish high school (whether you go to college after that is not important/out of the scope of this conversation)".

So the whole sentence would be something like

If nothing else, finish high school, so that you can keep your options open.

(I'm assuming どう転んでも refers to the listener's prospects after high school.)

  • 2
    転ぶ here means "(for things) to (randomly) turn out", so "prepare for anything to happen" or "prepare for the worst" is the basic idea of どう転んでもいいように. I think this son is trying to choose a path that has a low chance of success (sport player, YouTuber, etc).
    – naruto
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 15:08

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