くらい (kurai) Meaning Japanese Grammar - About

Author Anna Baffa Volpe for article 'くらい (kurai) Meaning Japanese Grammar - About'

Anna Baffa Volpe

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くらい (kurai) Meaning Japanese Grammar - About

The term くらい (kurai) means about, approximately, around or to the extent.

There is another form ぐらい (gurai) commonly used in spoken language.

In this post we learn more about the meaning of くらい, how it is formed, and when くらい is used through real example sentences.

How くらい is formed

くらい can be transcribed into kanji: (くらい) whose meaning is rank, or grade of something.

Numbers - Counters+くらい


I'll be there in about five minutes.

Counters or numeric suffixes are parts of the language used to count things in various categories. In the previous sentence we have found the counter for the minutes (ふん) and for the hours we use ().

  • number + counter: 5()12(ふん)


I love pizza. I would eat it every day.



This job is so easy that anybody could do it.

Literally: Anyone can do such a simple job.

Adjective in な+くらい


I am tired to the extent that it is necessary for me to have 5 days off.

Adjective in い+くらい

How and when くらい is used

くらい is used to describe an approximate quantity or amount, a certain size or an estimation. くらい expresses time duration, distance, length and quantity


How many students are there in your school?

くらい expressing low degree


Let me at least buy you a cup of coffee.


This game is at least a way to pass the time.

くらい expressing high degree


There's no better place to relax than your own room.

どのぐらい to ask time duration

If we need to ask how long it takes to go from one place to another, we use the question word どのぐらい.



How long does it take to get from Osaka to Kamakura?



It takes about 5 hours by train.

It is also used to express quantity of something or an amount.


Approximately how much can you afford?

You could ask a friend who came to visit your city:


How long do you plan to stay?

どのぐらい + particle when followed by a noun. どのぐらい is also used with the meaning of to what extent?


To what extent can she be trusted?


(おな)じ means same, equivalent and combined with ぐらい becomes roughly the same, about the same.


They are about the same size.

Examples of くらい


You can buy it for about 1.000 yen.

(えん) is the the counter for the currency of Japan: Yen


How many bottles of water should I prepare?

(ほん) counter for thin and long things


I was so surprised that I couldn't even speak.

You'll be surprised how addictive it can be!
びっくりする: be surprised


You'll be surprised how addictive it can be!

In the sentence we find the verb はまる referring to something that pleases and excites, captures the attention and engages to the point of becoming addicted. In this case we are talking about the release of a new version of the Play Station.


The sound is so low that you can't hear it.