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japanese grammar

September 2008

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pynelyf in jpnese_grammar

ni (shika) suginai

NOUN /  number and counter / V.Dictionary +  に(しか)過ぎない = something is "nothing more than "" or "just " or  "merely "

  • more explicitly, something or someone is nothing more than what is stated, in terms of amount, degree, status, significance, etc., and so, can have something of a downgrading nuance:
    • 吉田は平凡な会社員に過ぎない。/ Yoshida is nothing more than your average white-collar worker.
  • can use any of the following for emphasis: ただ だけ しか
  • this construction cannot be used with adjectives. In the case of adjectives, simply use だけ by itself to indicate “just
    • if だけ by itself is used with a noun, it means “only” in a neutral way rather than the what に過ぎない conveys.

 

 

Examples:

Noun
彼女にとって彼は恋人ではなく、ただの友達にしか過ぎない。/ To her, he’s just a friend, not a boyfriend.
 

Number and counter
私の睡眠時間は五時間に過ぎません。/ I usually don’t sleep more than five hours. (literally: My sleeping hours are merely five hours.)

 Verb dictionary form
田中さんは英語が読めるだけに過ぎないよ。/Tanaka-san can merely read in English (as opposed to writing or speaking).

Comments

Ooh! Nice structure. I'd heard it, but never seen it laid out like this so wouldn't have thought to use it. Thank you! ^_^
glad to be of help ^_^...now if i could just update on a semi-regular basis...