ぐらい usage

Japanese, general discussion on the language
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Jei-kyon
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ぐらい usage

Post by Jei-kyon » Tue 07.24.2007 2:21 am

I am wondering how flexible ぐらい is in meaning.

I used to think it only meant "approximately" or "at least" but I have been seeing it in other uses, for example: "about" as in ”恋ぐらい知ってて。” Or similiar in meaning to how some americans use "like" before everything, "It was like, scary or some junk..." Have I understood that correctly?
簡単に行かないから生きてゆける。
Because things don't go simply, I can live. -YUI

SuzuQ
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RE: ぐらい usage

Post by SuzuQ » Tue 07.24.2007 3:31 am

I think ぐらい or くらい has at least 3 meanings.

1. about, approx.
3年くらいかかる (it takes about 3 years)

2. like, similar, as ... as
息をするくらい簡単だ (it's easy like breathing)
彼は私と同じくらい背が高い (he is as tall as I am)

3. at least, or emphasizing something
挨拶(あいさつ)ぐらい言いなさい (you should at least say hello)
そのくらい知っています (I know that. (with a feeling of "have you ever thought i would not know that?"))
日曜日くらい休ませてください (please give me a rest on sundays (with a feeling of "i'm working weekdays, why do i have to do something on sunday too")

Your example, 恋ぐらい知ってて, is #3.
It means "you should at least know what Koi is. (with a feeling of "because you are old enough and it's not a difficult thing to learn.")

Hope it helps!

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Jei-kyon
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RE: ぐらい usage

Post by Jei-kyon » Tue 07.24.2007 4:25 am

That makes it much clearer. It helps alot thanks!

And on my example 恋ぐらい知ってて, Would it depend on the context as to if it's me talking about someone else or talking about myself? Like if I wanted to say "Naturally, I know what love is." would "恋ぐらい知ってて当然" work?
Last edited by Jei-kyon on Tue 07.24.2007 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
簡単に行かないから生きてゆける。
Because things don't go simply, I can live. -YUI

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Rypermanji
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RE: ぐらい usage

Post by Rypermanji » Tue 07.24.2007 10:47 am

Jei-kyon wrote:
Or similiar in meaning to how some americans use "like" before everything, "It was like, scary or some junk..." Have I understood that correctly?
I believe なんか would be used for the "like" that you are looking for. It's a filler word with basically no meaning. I like think that's like what you're like looking for.
~_^
グラディスが大好きだよ!

richvh
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RE: ぐらい usage

Post by richvh » Tue 07.24.2007 11:09 am

Rypermanji wrote:
Jei-kyon wrote:
Or similiar in meaning to how some americans use "like" before everything, "It was like, scary or some junk..." Have I understood that correctly?
I believe なんか would be used for the "like" that you are looking for. It's a filler word with basically no meaning. I like think that's like what you're like looking for.
~_^
Or さ, inserted randomly anywhere in a sentence.
Richard VanHouten
ゆきの物語

SuzuQ
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RE: ぐらい usage

Post by SuzuQ » Tue 07.24.2007 9:48 pm

if you just say "恋ぐらい知ってて", it is talking about someone else, because the last "て" in this case is what we call 終助詞 and it expresses a request from the speaker. I think it's like an abbriviation of "...てください."

However, if you say "恋ぐらい知ってて当然", the "て" is not 終助詞 (maybe 接続助詞), and yes it can be talking about yourself :D
"恋ぐらい知ってるよ (or 知っています)" sounds like talking about yourself too.

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Yudan Taiteki
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RE: ぐらい usage

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Tue 07.24.2007 10:02 pm

Of course, there can be an understood or reversed sentence; i.e. 当然だよ、恋ぐらい知ってて。
-Chris Kern

NocturnalOcean
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RE: ぐらい usage

Post by NocturnalOcean » Tue 07.24.2007 10:37 pm

Rypermanji wrote:
Jei-kyon wrote:
Or similiar in meaning to how some americans use "like" before everything, "It was like, scary or some junk..." Have I understood that correctly?
I believe なんか would be used for the "like" that you are looking for. It's a filler word with basically no meaning. I like think that's like what you're like looking for.
~_^
なんか do have meaning though. It is the colloquial version of など.
However it is often used with emphasize on negative meanings.

examples: 宿題なんかしたくない。 
          あの人なんか大嫌い
失敗は成功の元

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Jei-kyon
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RE: ぐらい usage

Post by Jei-kyon » Wed 07.25.2007 1:40 am

I have heard a lot of senetences that have て on the end of it used as a shorter form of てください as well as て forms used simply as conjunctive too. I did not know they were called 終助詞 and 接続助詞 though.

And I was wondering about reversing sentences sometimes too.

Thanks SuzuQ and Yudan Taiteki! :D


As for なんか, I am quite familiar with that word. A lot of the shows I watch, they say that all the time. There are varying degrees of informality I have seen applied to that word. ”歌うなんかできない。” ”なんかやばいよ!” ”なんか、それはおもしろかった。” And some seem to have more meaning than other uses. It seems to express emotion or feeling, like we use some words in english. "That is darn scary," or whatever. It depends on the situation and context for its meaning in each particular case.

Then there is also なんて which is more formal.

I have seen など used as "And so forth, and so on, for example" similiar to とか. ”章魚や魚などのは私が好きです。”


I did not know about さ in the middle of sentences. I have heard that used more in the beginning of sentences like "Well, ______ ". Now さあ with a long "a" sound, is a feminine sentence or phrase ending particle used like ね and is identified with "like" in english.

Oh, and then there is the use of さ (short "a" sound again) as a sentence ending particle by men mainly to indicate expression of something obvious. It is a little softer than よ。

どうでしたのか。How was that?

Thanks for everyone's input on those phrases as well. It is appreciated.
Last edited by Jei-kyon on Wed 07.25.2007 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
簡単に行かないから生きてゆける。
Because things don't go simply, I can live. -YUI

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