第98課: Too/Continue: ~すぎる, ~続ける, & ~急ぐ

Yes, the title is a pun.

~すぎる

過ぎる means "to pass" and is used both transitively and intransitively. It may be used in basically any situation that relates to someone or something passing by. ~過ぎる shows something "is too...”or someone is doing something "too much". When used with adjectives, you drop the く or に in the 連用形 altogether. Likewise, with 形容動詞, you don't use the copula.

 Verb 食べる + すぎる → 食べすぎる
 形容詞 小さい + すぎる → 小さすぎる
 形容動詞 簡単 + すぎる → 簡単すぎる

漢字 Note: This is usually written in ひらがな when used as an ending.  

1. 酒を飲みすぎて、二日酔ふつかよいがある。
    I drank too much sake, and I have a hangover.

2. 小さすぎる。大きいのがある?
    This is too small. Do you have a bigger one?

3. 食べ過ぎないでくださいね。
    Please don't overeat.

4. 真夜中(まよなか)を過ぎる。
    To pass through midnight.

漢字 Note: Be careful to not confuse this 中 with the suffix ちゅう・じゅう. It turns out that 夜中, which is read as やちゅう, means "at night", but it's a 書き言葉.  

5. あんた、頭がよすぎるよ。(Casual; potentially rude)
    You're too smart!

6. この問題は難しすぎる。
    This question is too difficult.

7. そのカメラは高すぎるね。
    Isn't that camera too high?

8. 明日では(おそ)すぎるでしょう。
    Tomorrow will probably be too late.

9. 道路( どうろ)横断(おうだん)にはいくら注意(ちゅうい)してもしすぎることはない。
    You can never be too careful when crossing the street.

10. 君は彼女に期待(きたい)をかけすぎる。
     You expect too much of her.

11. いくら好きでも、食べすぎると、体に悪いです。
      No matter how much you like it, eating too much is bad for your health. 

12. 彼はやりすぎたよ。
     He went too far.

13. 時間が過ぎた。
   Time passed.

14. この物理学の問題は難しすぎて、理解するのは無理です。
      This physics problem is too difficult, and understanding it is useless.  

15. コンピューターの画面に近すぎないことが大切だ。
    It's important to not get too close to the computer screen. 

16. 考え事をしながら歩いていたら、自分の家の前を通り過ぎてしまった。    
      Lost in thought, I walked past my house.

Word Note: 通り過ぎる usually means to "pass by", but it can also have the sense "going too far".

Grammar Note: What about the negative? Take the following two similar phrases into consideration. 読まなすぎる vs. 読みすぎない. The first one states that one "reads too little". The second states that one "doesn't read too much". There may also be cases when ~なすぎる is inappropriate for pragmatic reasons in particular contexts.

17. 彼は何もできなすぎる。 △ 
      He can't do anything.

 The Intensifier ~ない

There is also a suffix ~ない that increases the intensity of a given adjective. Inserting さ when using them with ~すぎる is wrong, but speakers occasionally do so anyway.  

The confusing part about this is that this does come from the negative ない. It so happened that late in Classical Japanese it acquired the meaning of just being an intensifier to particular phrases.

18. だらしない生活をする。
      To lead a sloven lifestyle. 

19. あの映画はまったくえげつないよ。
      That movie is just completely dirty.

20. はしたなく言い争う。
     To immodestly quarrel.

21. しがないサラリーマンの人生
      The humble life of a salary-man

22. あどけない子供の笑顔を見る。
      To look at the angelic smile of a child,

23. ぎこちなく運転しちゃだめだ。 
     Don't drive all clumsy. 

24. {いとけない・無邪気な}子
      An innocent child 

25. 滅相もない・滅相なことをいうものじゃないよ! 
      Don't say something so absurd!

There are a few cases where the original adjective and the adjective with the intensifier ~ない exist, just like above. Another example is  せわしない and 忙しい. The first means "seems busy" and the other means "really busy", but it is still the case that the former is more intense.  

26. 彼はせわしい人だ。
     He's a real busybody. 

27. 忙しない季節 
      A season so busy with no time to rest

  Another odd pair is 切な versus 切ない. 切な is now typically 切なる, odd giving that this is more Classical in form. The word means "earnest", and you would think 切ない would mean that too. It did, but over time it gained more negative undertones, and now it refers to heartrending sadness. This, though, sprouted out from the meaning of "earnest".  

28. 切な(る)顔
      An earnest face

29. 切なさを堪える。
      To withhold heart-wrenching.  

Another weird word is 怪しからん. This comes from the old verb 怪しかる, but rather than being opposites, they accidentally became the same thing, both meaning "inexcusable".

30. 親切に扱ってくれた人の不満をいうとは怪しからん。(Dialectical/older person)     
      Complaining about those who have treated you well is inexcusable. 

~続ける

    The 一段 verb (つづ)ける means "to continue". The verb is normally used for "one's own" actions. If the verb happens naturally, the verb 続く is used instead. Although you would think that this distinction would be carried in compounds, ~続く is essentially only seen with the verb ()る. 

 一段 Verbs 見る + 続ける →  続ける
 五段 Verbs 泳ぐ + 続ける → 泳ぎ続ける
 Noun + Copula Nounだ + 続ける → 男性であり続ける
 形容詞 美しい + 続ける → 美しくあり続ける
 形容動詞  自由な + 続ける → 自由であり続ける

31. 日本語を勉強し続けてください。
      Please continue studying Japanese.

32. 我(  わ)がままを(とお)し続ける。 
      Continue one's own way.

33. 彼氏んちまで歩き続けた。(Casual 東京弁)   
   I continued walking up to my boyfriend's house. 

34. 電話のベルは鳴り続けた。
   The phone kept ringing.

35. ハチ(こう)は来る日も来る日も主人(しゅじん)の帰りを待ち続けた。
   Hachiko waited day after day for his master to return.

Culture Note: ハチ公 is a dog that was so loyal to his master, that he waited for him to return at the station he would always go to for him even after the owner's death.  

36. 彼らは(はたら)き続けた。
   They continued working.

37. 赤ちゃんはぐっすりと(ねむ)り続けていた。
   The baby was continuing to sleep soundly.

38. 火が()え続けている。
   The fire is continuing to burn.

39. 雨が降り続いている。
   It is continuing to rain.

40. 既   すでむくろになってしまったとはいえ、やはり母は、こうして祥子の頭をいためる存在であり続けるのだ。
      Although she has already become a corpse, mother will after all continue an existence of having          Sachiko ache this way. 

From 冷たい誘惑(ゆうわく) by 乃南(のなみ)アサ.

漢字 Notes:

1. すでに is often not spelled in 漢字. However, 既に is more formal and literary.
2. 骸 is a non-常用漢字 meaning "corpse". It is more stronger than other words like 遺体, which is typically used in news reports, or 死体.
3. 祥 is a name character meaning "auspicious".  
4. 乃 is also a name character. Its most important reading is の. This is used to write the particle の in many names and in old writing.  


 ~続ける VS ~のを続ける

These two patterns translate the same as "to continue...", but they're not exactly the same. ~続ける shows an action/state that is ongoing. The latter simply states that there is a continuation of some sort. For example, a way to distinguish this in English would be similar to "she is continuing to watch the show"  versus "she continues to watch the show". The first shows the ongoing state of her watching the show whereas the latter just states that she continues to regularly watch the show.

41. 彼女はその番組を観続けている。
      She's continuing to watch that show.

42. 彼女は、その番組を観るのを続けている。
      She continues to watch that show.

漢字 Note: You can use 見 instead of 観, but the latter is often used for watching things like movies, shows, etc.  

~急ぐ

()ぐ means "to hurry" and can be seen in both transitive and intransitive contexts. As a transitive verb, it can be used in compounds to show that one is trying to hurry and finish something. Its –て form 急いで can also be used to show this as an adverbial phrase. It is best for this ending to see it used in a compound verb before using it as such. 

43. 売り急ぐ。
     To be in a hurry to sell.

44a. リンゴを買い急ぐ。(ちょっと不自然)
44b. 急いでリンゴを買う。(もっと自然)
        To buy apples in a hurry.

45. 彼は死に急いだ。
      He hastened to his death.

46. 急いで(ふく)()た。
      I hurried and got dressed.

47. 学校へ急ぐ。
     To hurry to school. 

Word Noteあせる is not the same thing. This implies frustration that things might not go as planned.

48. 彼は焦って失敗(しっぱい)した。
    He hurried it and failed.