Learn Japanese – The Complete Video Series (presented by becauseofdreams) - 「Learn Japanese」 Introduction to Adverbs – Common Degree Adverbs

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Learn Japanese – The Complete Video Series (presented by becauseofdreams)

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「Learn Japanese」 Introduction to Adverbs – Common Degree Adverbs

「Learn Japanese」 Adverbs (Common Degree Adverbs)

In Japanese, adverbs are commonly used in conjunction with the particle に but there also exists a set of even more common adverbs which do not use the particle に at all. These are the common degree adverbs とても, すこし, ちょっと, ぜんぜん, and あまり.

とても (very)


Kono shukudai ha totemo muzukashii desu.
(This homework is very hard.)

Keitai denwa ha totemo benri desune.
(Cellphones are really convenient, aren’t they?)

すごく- very (casual, used more for conversation)


Kono boushi ha sugoku kirei desuga sukoshi takai desu.
(This hat is very pretty but it’s a little expensive.)

すこし(少し) – a little


Kono boushi ha sugoku kirei desuga sukoshi takai desu.
(This hat is very pretty but it’s a little expensive.)

ちょっと– a little (casual, used more for conversation)


Watashi no otouto ha chotto urusai desu.
(My little brother is a little noisy.)

すこし and ちょっと are commonly used as euphemistic expressions in that they do not provide clear subjections on the speaker’s behalf. Due to this, すこし and ちょっと are more naturally used in negative statements to soften what may be a harsh statement if otherwise expressed forthrightly. When used in the positive form, they express the connotation that the albeit positive, the characteristic may have not met expectations.

ぜんぜん – not at all


Kanojo wa zenzen kawakunakatta.
(She wasn’t cute at all.)

あまり – not really


Watashi wa amari jyouzu jyanai.
(I am not very good.)

あまりis only used in negative-form sentences. Traditionally, ぜんぜん was also used in negative-form sentences as well, however, it has gradually become commonly used in positive-form sentences in which it serves a positive emphatic function similar to the English “completely”, “wholly”, and/or “entirely”. For example, the expression 全然平気 (ぜんぜんへいき) [zenzen heiki] means to be “complete okay” or “perfectly fine”.

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