I have recently learned the word ともかく, which apparently means "anyway", but searching for information on the internet, it is not very clear to me when ともかく is used and when the word とにかく, which is the one I have always used so far to say "anyway".

I am interested in learning ともかく and enriching my vocabulary a bit. Is there some kind of key that lets me know when to use one word or another?

For instance,

If (.........)

Use ともかく


Use とにかく

What is the condition of the "If"? Also, could you please give me an example sentence with ともかく (or some, if you please) to illustrate that?

  • Did you see this? japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/78227/… If neither answer there satisfies you, you should probably edit your question to say why not. Otherwise, it is likely to be closed as a duplicate.
    – Nanigashi
    Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 22:58
  • Reading the two answers given in the question of that link, I still don't have very clear when to use ともかくand when とにかく. In order to make it easier for me, and maybe for other people as well, I've tried to reformulate the question using an If clause. Could you please help me to determine the condition I must insert in the If clause and give other example sentences to see the application of that If clause. If someone could do so, I'd appreciate it a lot. I'm sorry for the trouble.
    – Rick
    Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 23:44
  • @Nanigashi from those answers, とにかく kinda a stronger version of ともかく, that stresses the fact the sentences is speaking about, but I'm not really sure about some of the examples, like what's the difference between "We need money before anything" and "We need, be that as it may (= nevertheless), money" in broccoli facemask answer. In the first it's the main thing, in the second something necessary, but not the most important thing?
    – Mauro
    Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 0:16

1 Answer 1


Comparing とにかく and ともかく, they are mostly interchangeable (one is listed in the definition of the other).

とにかく has the usage shared by なにしろ (meaning above all, particularly or practically very (much)):





This usage is only for とにかく (or at least ともかく should be much less common).

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