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くらい / ぐらい

くらい / ぐらい

くらい / ぐらい Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Particle

Essential Meaning: About / Approximately / To that extent

Construction: 

  • Number + Counter + くらい
    • E.g. まいくらい [About 4 pages]
  • Demonstrative Pronoun + くらい
    • E.g. これくらい [About this much]
    • E.g. それくらい [About that much]
    • E.g. あれくらい [About that much]
    • E.g. どれくらい [About how much?]
  • Demonstrative Adjective + くらい
    • E.g. このくらい [To about this extent]
    • E.g. そのくらい [To about that extent]
    • E.g. あのくらい [To about that extent]
    • E.g. どのくらい [To about what extent?]
  • Interrogative Pronoun + くらい
    • E.g. いくらくらい [About how much?]

Notes:

  • くらい is used to refer to an approximate quantity or extent. With a physical quantity, Xくらい is equivalent to saying “Approximately X” or “About X“. With an extent, Xくらい is equivalent to saying “To X extent” or “To the extent of X“.
    • E.g. Quantity: 東京とうきょうからサンフランシスコまで飛行機ひこうき九時間くじかんぐらいかかる。[It takes about 9 hours to go from Tokyo to San Fransisco by airplane.]
    • E.g. Extent: 山田やまださんぐらい英語えいごができればたのしいでしょうね。[If I could speak English about to the extent that Yamada-san can, that would be fun.]
  • Demonstrative pronouns (e.g. これ [This], あれ [That], それ [That], どれ [Which]) and demonstrative adjectives (e.g. この [This X], あの [That X], その [That X], どの [Which X]) are basically used interchangeably when paired with くらい. However, there is a slight tendency for demonstrative pronouns to be used with quantities (e.g. number of physical objects) and for demonstrative adjectives to be used with extents (e.g. periods of time, distance between places).
    • E.g. わたしだってそれぐらいのことはわかりますよ。[Even I can’t understand things of that extent.]
    • E.g. わたしだってそのぐらいのことはわかりますよ。[Even I can’t understand things of that extent.]
  • くらい and ぐらい are totally interchangeable. In many cases, ぐらい simply rolls off the tongue better than くらい.

Example Sentences:

東京とうきょうからサンフランシスコまで飛行機ひこうき九時間くじかんぐらいかかる。[It takes about 9 hours to go from Tokyo to San Fransisco by airplane.]

A: そのくるまはいくらぐらいでしたか。B: 150まんくらいでした。[A: About how much was that car? B: It was about 15,000 USD. ]

スミスさんは京都きょうと4ヶ月よんかげつくらいっていました。[Mr. Smith was in Kyoto for about 4 months.]

山田やまださんぐらい英語えいごができればたのしいでしょうね。[If I could speak English about to the extent that Yamada-san can, that would be fun.]

わたしだってそれぐらいのことはわかりますよ。[Even I can’t understand things of that extent.]

WILD Examples:

Listen to this opening line beginning at 0:27: どれくらい値打ねうちがあるだろう、ぼくいまきているこの世界せかい[About how much value is there, in this world where I am living]
Listen to this line at 0:42: わらっちまうくらい毎日まいにちはただもうぎてくあっという [Every day passes by quickly to the extent that one can’t help but laugh]

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