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あまり

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あまり

Postby squarezebra » Sun 06.21.2009 4:02 pm

Hi,
Ive come accross another set of questions in my course book, and it'd be easy to fool an answer, but i don't actually understand what going on.
More specifically, the placement of あまり in : 妹はあまり目が大きくない doesn't seem to make any sense to me. Isn't 妹は目があまり大きくない more natural?

Thanks

Sqz
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Re: あまり

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 06.21.2009 5:41 pm

squarezebra wrote:Hi,
Ive come accross another set of questions in my course book, and it'd be easy to fool an answer, but i don't actually understand what going on.
More specifically, the placement of あまり in : 妹はあまり目が大きくない doesn't seem to make any sense to me. Isn't 妹は目があまり大きくない more natural?


Not being a native speaker I can't say for sure what's natural, but both sentences seem fine to me.
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Re: あまり

Postby Harisenbon » Sun 06.21.2009 7:44 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:Not being a native speaker I can't say for sure what's natural, but both sentences seem fine to me.


I am also not native, but am surrounded by them, and both sound completely natural.
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Re: あまり

Postby keatonatron » Tue 06.23.2009 2:34 am

I think the first one sounds better, actually.

There is a little difference in nuance, of course.

The difference would be something like:

1. Big eyes : not really
2. Eyes : not really big

I guess you could translate them as:

She doesn't really have big eyes.

versus

Her eyes aren't very big.

And, like always........ *gasp* Context is super important :P

My feeling is that if you were talking about people with big eyes and someone suggested your sister, the first sentence would be more appropriate. If you were, for example, simply talking about your (Japanese) sister and someone asked "Oh, does she look western?", the second sentence would work better.
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