くらい (kurai) Meaning Japanese Grammar - About
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6 min reading time
The term くらい (
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: 位 whose meaning is rank, or grade of something.
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 分 and for the hours we use 時.
- number + counter: 5時12分
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.
I am tired to the extent that it is necessary for me to have 5 days off.
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 の 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?
同じ 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.
円 is the the counter for the currency of Japan:
How many bottles of water should I prepare?
本 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!
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.
Similar grammar points in Japanese 📚