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Grammar detail: verb stem + んばかり

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JLPT:
verb stem + んばかり
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verb negative stem
+
んばかり(に)
means
as if ~; as though ~
This form is used to indicate a high level of similarity between two things - for example, to suggest that one thing is so similar to something else that it is as if it actually were that thing.
そのニュース
むね
りさけんばかり
だった
The news broke her heart.
この
くるま
スピード
はや
えんばかり

This car is so fast it's as if it were invisible.
This form is the basis of the set expression わんばかり, 'as if to say':
ゆうじん
友人
ふかのう
不可能
わん
ばかり
くび
よこ
った

My friend shook his head as much as to say "impossible".
に is used to join the んばかり form with the next clause:
かれ
どうい
同意
する
わんばかり
うなずいた
He nodded as much as to say, I agree.
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See also:
  • Error! Grammar 0 not found!
  • verb plain past + ばかり - just
  • verb て form + ばかり - nothing but; only
  • ばかりでなく - not only ~
  • ばかりに - just because ~; on account of ~

Kanji used in this grammar

ゲン   ゴン   say; word   こと word, saying   い to say   
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キョウ   むね    むな- chest   
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チョウ   は to stretch   
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シャ   くるま car   
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ソク   はや fast   はやまる be hasty   はやめる to expedite, to hasten   すみやか speedy   
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3
ケン   み to see   みえる to be seen; to appear   みせる to show   
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ユウ   とも friend   
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ジン   ニン   ひと man   
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フ   ブ    not   
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カ    good, possible, approval   
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2
ノウ    ability   
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シュ   くび neck; head   
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3
オウ   よこ side   
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シン   ふ    ふれる to wield, swing, wave   ふるう to wield, swing; prosper   
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ヒ   かれ he   
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3
ドウ   おな same   
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2
イ    idea   
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2
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