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  5. "There is not too much milk."

"There is not too much milk."


June 10, 2017



牛乳 (cows milk/milk) は多く(too much) ないです


Why kitaku AND ooku?


Note up front: it's 'mattaku' (not kitaku), and 'ookunai' is a single word.

As for why they're both here: the former qualifies the latter. まったく means "entirely/thoroughly" or -when used with a negation- "not at all". おおくない is the negation of おおい, meaning "a lot/many/plenty". So together it's like saying "there is definitely not much" (I'm personally not fond of Duo's choice of translation; "not too much")


I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who feels the translation feels rather unnatural for what is being said.


I would also like to know.


Not sure i like how much they use gyuunyuu for milk because here in Japan Japanese people just say "mirku" (kana for milk)


I hear gyuunyuu all the time in Hokkaido (not to say that miruku isn't also used, but it's not the standard).


Not sure I like Japanese people saying "miruku", when they have a perfectly adequate word for it in their own language. So let's stick with teaching Japanese in this course.


Why does this phrase need 全く


Wasn't necessary for me.


I wrote "牛乳は多くないです" and it corrected me to "ぎゅうにゅうはまったくおおくないです".


Yeah. In a similar sentence using mataku for 'too' was marked as wrong.


The English really should read as "There isn't much milk".

"There is not too much milk" quite literally means that there is not too much milk, as in there is not milk flowing over the floor.


It's not necessarily referring to milk in a glass that isn't sopping on the floor, it could be referring to a number of bottles, and saying that the number of bottles of milk is not too many.


What's the difference between すくなくない and まったくおおくない?


I have the same question! Someone answer please! :)


すくなくない means "there is not a little" and おおきくない means "there is not too much".


What does ammari stand for !?


"much/very much", when used with negative phrases.

あまり好きじゃありません I don't like it very much. あまり食べませんでした I didn't eat much.


Hardly / rarely / barely, etc.


What would be the difference between using "mattaku" here and not using it?


全く/まったく/mattaku is an intensifier or qualifier. It's fairly strong. quite/absolutely/entirely/completely/etc. I see it written in both kanji or hiragana. It's hard to given one comparative English word that would apply in all uses.

Leaving it out makes the statement a less forceful assertion.

まったく違うよー 。まったくちがうよー。mattaku chigau yo-

That's totally wrong! (You're way off base!) It's completely different!

違うよー 。ちがうよー。chigau yo-

No, that's wrong! That's not right!

全く期待はずれ。 まったく きたい はずれ。mattaku kitai hazure

It's completely disappointing. It totally didn't meet expectations.

期待はずれ。きたい はずれ。kitai hazure

It's disappointing. It doesn't meet expectations.

It can be used with positive or negative phrases.

It can also be used an exclamation (though it is not used in this fashion in this course). It's along the lines of expressing distaste, exasperation, surprise, disgust. Sort of like the English exclamations "Seriously?!" "Honestly?!" "Really?!" "Good grief!"

See Alcedo-Atthis' explanation further up in the discussion. It discusses some of this, too.


Thanks a lot for the explanation, however- in this sentence why would you need to intensify the fact that there is not too much milk? Or did I miss the point?


Alcedo-Atthis commented that the translation Duolingo offers is kind of odd; I agree that it makes it harder to understand why you'd want to say this, given the suggested translation.

If you think of 'mattaku' as an intensifier, and 'ookunai' as not much, you can get the slightly more useful translation as 'definitely not much'.

Imagine the following scenario -

A: I wonder if there is enough food for the party... B: There is definitely not much food here! (You probably want more.)

A: パーティは食べ物が充分あるかなぁ? B: まったく多くないよー

A: パーティは たべもの が じゅうぶん ある かなぁ? B: まったく おおくない よー

The intensity of the added まったく makes it more imperative you'd want more food than what's present.


Oh so "ookunai" means "not much" rather than "Not too much".. thanks!


As IsolaCiao mentions, the translation offered by the Duolingo Japanese staff does make sense from a native Japanese speaker's point of view. But the English is a bit odd.

I think this is a great example of why thinking about Japanese in terms of English is ultimately counter-productive in the long term.

If you can get into thinking about Japanese in terms of Japanese, you'll be better off.

But it's totally natural to try and speed up your processing of a new language in terms of the language you understand the best; you've got to start somewhere!


I know it's not the dictionary definition, but I agree with duolingo, in Japanese daily life "ooi" means "too much", so "ookunai" would mean "not too much".

I think jessfitzgerald gave a great explanation of the nuance of using "mattaku" or not using it. Clearly the English translation here doesn't do anything to signal whether we should use "mattaku" or not.


As to your first point, I think that's an important thing to remember. I appreciate you reinforcing that idea.


I totally get your question. Without additional context, you have no idea why someone would care enough to intensify the statement. 笑

I guess they're really peeved there's not enough milk?


i revisited this question and this time ぎゅうにゅうはおおくないですwas accepted. The changing answers are so confusing


Huh! It seems です is needed at the end of this sentence too! Does anyone know why?

Most questions accept answers without it, so is there something special about this sentence I'm missing..?


多くないです(ooku nai desu) and 多くない (ookunai) mean the same thing. Use of です 'softens' the phrase, and makes it sound more polite. ない is a 'rougher', less formal word when used without です.

Textbooks and teaching often default to using polite conjugations.

This duo course does use both, which is good - it's helpful to be exposed to various levels of politeness and conjugation. It is not always consistent about accepting both, which is not so good. It also doesn't explain why and when you'd want to use one versus the other, which also isn't very good.

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