It's common knowledge that よう(に) can be understood as either A ようにB (do B so that A, B to A) or A ようにB (to do B as A). But I wonder if ように can mean 'As if to' as well? Basically combine the 2 above meanings? For example this sentence:


Could this mean "The knocking door sound is heard as if to interrupt my story" or is it simply "The knocking door sound is heard to interrupt my story"?

  • 2
    Where does that "interrupt my story" come from?
    – Simon
    Jan 11 at 13:52
  • 1
    @Simon. I use yoimichan and it tells me 腰を折る means interuppting (a story, etc). Although in the context it was more like a thought.
    – Tung
    Jan 11 at 15:27

If we were to say the different between using the “as if to” structure and simply resembling two things is in the implication of some guesswork in the first one, Then I’d say using the “ように” without adding anything else might not be sufficient to convey the same nuance as “as if to”.
The method that comes to my mind when wanting to say something more similar to “as if to” is adding “かの” before “ように” like in the sentence below.

父親を亡くしたばかりなのに、彼女は何もなかったかのように笑ってる。Even though she has just lost his father, she is laughing as if nothing has happened.

As for the sentence you brought up, although it depends a lot on the context and also one’s personal interpretation, to me it reads like an attempt made by someone in order to interrupt one’s (probably their own) speech.

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.