JLPT N4 Grammar – ~たばかり

The JLPT N4 has many grammar points that are extremely useful for daily conversation. In addition to studying for a test, you are also adding to your Japanese language toolbox more tools that you can use to communicate. This article covers the JLPT N4 grammar point: ~たばかり (~tabakari)

~たばかり is one of those grammar points that you can start using immediately in conversation. It’s easy to learn, and even easier to implement into your sentences!

Let’s check it out.

Yuka-sensei Shows Us How to Use ~たばかり (~tabakari)

In the video above, Yuka-sensei gives a great run down of this JLPT N4 point. This article is a summary of the video.

What Is ~たばかり (~tabakari)?

~たばかり expresses that something has just happened or just been completed. In the video above, Yuka-sensei uses it to explain that her class had just finished – 授業が終わったばかりです

An English translation of ~たばかり would be something like “~just now”. It is used when the time between an action being done and the present is short – At least from the perspective of the speaker.

There might be some instances in which ~たばかり covers a time period of up to a year! In other words, it’s use in describing times-span is often relative. You can use also ~たばかり in either polite form or for casual speaking!

Examples of How to Use ~たばかり

Let’s start by breaking down Yuka-sensei’s example:

Jyugyou ga owatta bakari desu
The lesson finished just now

As you can see in the example above, ~たばかり goes with past tense verbs, such as 終わった (to finish/end). Just stick it on the end of a past tense verb, and add です (desu) to make it polite.

You can use it with transitive verbs the exact same way. For example:

Asa gohan o tabeta bakari desu
I just finished eating breakfast

It works the same way! (past tense verb) + たばかり

Super simple, right?

For Casual speaking…

Did you know many young people are using slightly different Japanese and slang for conversational speaking? It’s not quite grammatically correct, but it’s good to be aware of how normal people talk in regular conversation.

Likewise, many young people are using ~たばっか as a shortened and casual way of saying ~ばかり

Baiku no norikata o mananda bakka
I just learned how to ride a (motor)bike

Again, this is not grammatically appropriate – As of now anyway – But it’s important to keep up with the way native speakers talk in conversation!

Don’t forget to try it out with your Japanese friends!

Interested in Online Japanese Lessons?


Come take Japanese lessons with us from a professional teacher online!

Click here to view the details.

Test your Japanese level!

Do a self-test to see which course fits you.

Check your level