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.
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.)
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).