1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "えいがはあまり見ません。"


Translation:I do not watch a lot of movies.

June 6, 2017





Note that あまり is usually written in hiragana alone.


When used as an adverb....


Doesn't the the adjective refer to the verb? As in "i do not watch movies a lot" instead of "i do not watch a lot of movies"


If an adjective is applied to a verb it's called an 'adverb'. And I believe your right...but it's been a long time since I took syntax and I don't remember if adverbs can apply to the object of the verb or must adhere to the verb itself. And amari IS an adverb and inly an adverb in Japanese...


Adjectives describe nouns - delicious cake, red car, slow train. These are all adjectives. They cannot be "applied to a verb". In English adverbs for the most part are made by adding -ly to the end of adjectives - quickly, quietly, loudly, but there are exceptions where adjectives change to a completely different word (good adj. - well advb.), or seem to have no change at all (fast adj. - fast advb.),to name a few. In Japanese there are only two ways to change an adjective into an adverb. If it is an 'i' or true adjective then the final 'i' is removed and - ku is added to the end. If it is a na adjective then no change is made to the adjective but the particle ni follows it to show it is now an adverb. Adverbs describe verbs. That is they describe how actions are performed - she cooked well, he ran fast, the teacher speaks slowly. They do not describe nouns and so cannot describe/modify an object. あまりis an adverb and it is used with a negative verb to mean something that your don't really do (often) - ie. It is describing the verb by expressing the negative frequency with which you perform a certain action.


I saw 観る used in formal situations, like at news. Am I wrong?


Adverbs don't modify objects (of verbs) or indirect objects. Adjectives do, though, since objects are either nouns, pronouns, proper nouns, or etc.

So yes, adverbs must adhere to the verb itself.


I answered "I do not watch movies a lot" and it was correct. Guess they fixed it.


What's the difference between あまり and たくさん?


あまり implies "not a lot", you cannot use it in a positive clause (well, you can under certain circumstances, but for the moment it's easier if you strongly associate it with the negative). You could also translate あまり+Neg. as "hardly" or "rarely" depending on context. The idea is that there is almost none of something. In practice, it's often just a filler word which tones down the negative a little to make it somewhat less categorical. So if you hear 映画(えいが)はあまり見ません, the speaker might not watch movies at all and just doesn't want to sound blunt (maybe because the other person just said they like movies).

たくさん on the other hand tends to be used in positive clauses, or as an attribute to a noun (e.g. たくさんの人 "many people"). It can occasionally be used in the negative, but only rarely. In that case it actually means "not"+"a lot" (whereas with あまり I would understand "hardly any" or even "none at all". I would then expect たくさん to get the は particle put stress on it. For example, I found an example sentence which in simplified form boils down to:

  • そんな国は世界にたくさんはない。(There are not many such countries in the world.)

In this case the focus of the sentence is on たくさん to say there are not many of such countries, but implying that there are some. On the other hand, if the sentence used あまり instead:

  • そんな国は世界にあまりない。

This sentence can be translated in the same way as the one above but it’s focus is much more on the countries rather than “many”. The feeling is more like “there are hardly any (maybe even no) such countries in the world”.

In any case, for the moment I think you can safely associate たくさん with positive sentences and あまり with negative ones.


Thank you for a detailed answer!


So, what does あまり describe in this sentence, like in "このあまりにも短すぎる人生の中で..."


Yeah, my rough differentiation doesn’t work in that sentence. Maybe because あまりにも refers to an intensity rather than an amount? I’m not sure. Do you have an opinion about that?


あまりis an adverb. It describes the negative frequency with which you perform an action (ie. It is describing the verb). たくさんis a quantitive adjective - it describes the amount of the noun - a lot of people, a lot of cake. They are completely different types of speech.


When do you write 見る and when 観る?


It is always 見る. 観る is more like observe/sight see. E.i. 観光 kankou sightsee. 観 is rarely used outside of nouns any more. The verbs it was once found in have all switched to using 見る. So, just use 見る.


I see. Thank you very much!


Is あんまり also possible?


Can you please give an example with the meaning?


Does this carry the same sense as in English of "I do watch movies, but not a lot", or is just denying that I watch A LOT of movies?


It is the former.


Would "I do not really watch movies" be appropriate? Or does "a lot" need to be in there? I am not really understanding あまり.


"I don't watch movies much/often" would be fine. "I don't really watch movies" wouldn't be a good translation, because it literally means you don't watch any movies (which is not the intended meaning).


why use the particle は instead of を here?


I think because you're referring to movies in general, not a specific movie.


How do you say "I often don't watch movies "?


よくえいがをみません , the other answer using しばし might be correct too but it sounds like taken from google translate


I'd guess しばしば映画を見ません


Can it be translated to "I do not always watch movies"?


If I wanted to translate to it, what would it sound like?


I don't watch movies much.


Hm. Rarely? Hardly ever? Barely? Are those possible translations?


"Dont / not really" would be a closer translation. Those words you mentioned have their corresponding japanese words


Wait so if あまり is negative and 見ません is also negative, wouldn't the sentence turn out to be positive overall? The translation would be like "I watch a lot of movies" instead?


No. If you want you can imagine あまり behaving a little bit like English “either” (as in “I don’t know either”). It sort of implies a negative, not because it includes the negative by itself, but because it (almost) exclusively appears together with a negative.


I answered, "I seldom watch movies" and got it wrong. Is it?


Could "I rather don't watch films" work as a valid translation?


Because I'm not paying attention, you got me to pick water instead of watch. gg


aa bb cc dd ee ff gg hh ii jj kk ll mm nn oo pp qq rr ss tt uu vv ww xx yy zz


Is amari a synonym for yoku?

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.