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"I do not write a lot of letters."


June 8, 2017



When should one use あまり vs たくさん?


あまり=too much たくさん=very much

Always use あまり when pairing with negative (ない)




Thank you for the explanation!

あまり should be included in the translation tips for the sentence, but it's not.


Yes but I notice that in google when you go to "too much" it switches to the verb sugiru if there is no obj in the sentence (ie used as an adv)

Eg I don't write too many letters is still 手紙はあまり書きません。Watashi wa amari tegami o kakimasen

However, if you just write "I don't write too much"

書きすぎません。Kaki sugimasen

Meaning that perhaps amaru is only an adj modifier not an adv


I don't write a lot is

あまり書 きません amari kakimasen

So it seems it can be an adv but not too excessive or otherwise, it switches to the verb sugiru

Is that right? And what is the suicide rate of people learning Japanese?


すぎる amount is too much

書きすぎません don't write too much in terms of amount, e.g. on a paper don't use up all the spaces.

あまり frequency is too much.

あまり書きません don't write too much e.g. write only once per day instead of per hour.


Thank you - so really amari is "too frequently/often" and when I experiment with translations, it does seem to be the case. Wouldn't the translation above be better as "I don't write letters too often" rather than "I don't write a lot of/too many letters" 手紙を書きすぎない because technically we are referring to the number of letters, not how often you write?


Yes. But just bear in mind that in English "too many" and "a lot of" are quite ambiguous whether it is describing quantity or frequency. So in my opinion both not a lot and not often are OK.


Is it incorrect to use the object marker (w)o instead of the subject marker ha/wa?


I tried wo and it worked


You can sometimes use wa or ga or o interchangably depending on where you want the focus in the sentence (note: that doesn't apply to all sentences!) but in most examples I have seen on Duo, you often use wa for the negative sentence. For example:

Niku o tabemasu (I eat meat)

Niku wa tabemasen (I do not eat meat)




Could this also mean "I do not write letters a lot." (As in frequency, not volume)?

If so, how do you distinguish between the two?


Yes, i tried たくさんの手紙を書きません to tell the quantity instead of the frequency.

Is my sentence correct in Japanese or did i make a mistake or is it unused by Japanese people?

Thanks in advance for your help and your explanations


Still noone to explain me my mistake ?

Thanks in advance for your help and your explanations


Copying my answer above

あまり=too much たくさん=very much

Always use あまり when pairing with negative (ない)

Also to represent frequency it is よく

  • よく書きません (not often)
  • あまり書きません (not too much)

Edit: It is like splitting hair so probably you can ignore the above - in practice the distinction is not very clear. The only thing to understand is that using あまり~ない is much more common than using たくさん~ない and even よく~ない.




Why separate ませ from ん? It's one word.


I like that, as it requires one to construct the word, a bit like having to spell out a word in romaji.


As you will see later there is another verb form that will start off as mase...


I really hope they don't do this as it is very confusing.


I put, "Amari tegami wa kaki masen" and it counted it as correct even though a previous question had it written as, "Tegami wa amari kaki masen."

Just curious why mine is correct? Is it because I put the particle in the right place (after "tegami")? Is there some leeway in sentence structure?


There is a lot of leeway in japanese sentence structure. The words need to be in their group (subject, verb, object, etc) but do not have to be in any particular order. (In simple sentences xxxはxxxをxxxます can be xxxをxxxはxxxます and so on)


The verb is always at the end.


Why is it 'wa' when I am the subject, not the letters? Or is it because it is about the letters and so they're the topic?


No letters? I guess you write numbers then


手紙を余り書かない worked

手紙を余り書きません should work (didn't check)


たくさんの本を読みます is accepted for "I will read a lot of books," but あまりの手紙を書きません is not accepted for this. Why? Is を never used with 書き, is の never used with あまり, is it wrong for some other reason, or is it actually correct?


あまりの手紙を書きません - I don't write excessive letters.

あまり as a noun (excess) has a different meaning compared with あまり as an adverb (too much). たくさん has a similar meaning (a lot).


Yea? Well,



As for the translation, is it correct to say — I rarely write a lot of letters?


I thought i understood when to use を and when to use は, but i answered this with 手紙を… and the given answer is 手紙は… ?

It marked me right but now I'm confused!


を and は are both acceptable for negative transitive verbs. They just have a slightly different nuance. を is just a simple statement with no additional meaning behind it. は is a "contrasting" particle in this usage, so you're basically saying, "I don't write a lot of letters [but I do write other stuff.]" or alternatively something like, "Letters? No. I don't write a lot of those." if you were asked a question.


Why do you use ません instead of しません? Duo taught that you use the latter for when you do something


But now you "write" something instead of "do" something, so the verb for "write" (書きます) is used.

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