339 - あまり
JLPT N2 Grammar: あまり
Not to be confused with the more basic あまり～ない, this あまり means “so ~ that,” or “because ~ too much.”
あまり is a conjunction that marks the cause of something, usually an excessive action. This sounds complicated, but don’t be alarmed, just keep in mind “too much” when learning this grammar point. Essentially, あまり is used in sentences where an action or feeling is so much, that it causes another action or feeling.
An English equivalent example would be:
“I was so excited that I jumped up and down.”
The excessive action is the jumping up and down, based on the feeling of being excited.
Here is the construction:
N + の + あまり
so happy that...
Vplain + あまり
気にする + あまり
きにする + あまり
So worried that…
Here are a few example sentences:
わたし の かれし は しょく の あんぜん を きにする あまり、 がいしょく が くつう に なってしまった そうだ。
My boyfriend is so worried about whats in his food that he said that going out to eat has become a painful experience.
Literally: “I + の + boyfriend + は + food + の + safety + を + worried + so that + eating out + が + pain + に + became + he says (=そうだ)”
Note: 食の安全 (しょくのあんぜん), literally "food safety," includes the safety of the entire food production process, from the farm all the way to the table.
As you can see in the above sentence, there is an excessive action (being in pain when he goes out to eat), and that is caused by his worry. So あまり is attached to 気にする to show that this is the cause.
でんしゃ で しょうせつ に ぼっとう し すぎた あまり、 うっかり のりすごして しまった。
I was so immersed in my novel on the train that I thoughtlessly missed my stop.
Literally: “train + で + novel + に + immersed in + do + too much + so that + thoughtlessly + to missed one’s stop (regretfully)”
はじめて ことば を はなす カラス を みた とき、 おどろき の あまり しばらく くちがきけなかった。
The first time I saw a crow that spoke, I was so surprised that I was at a loss for words.
Literally: “first time + words + を + speak + crow + を + saw + when + surprised + の + so that + a moment + unable to speak (=mouth + が + was ineffective)”
たいせつ な とけい を ぬすまれた。 ショック の あまり しばらく しょくじ が のど を とおらなかった。
My valuable watch was stolen. I was so upset that my I could barely swallow my food.
Literally: “valuable + な + watch + を + was stolen. + shock + の + so that + a while + meal + が + throat + を + didn’t pass”
Note: The nuance of ショック in Japanese is quite a bit different than "shock" in English, though sometimes the meanings overlap. It often is closer in meaning to something like "upset."
ちち は うまれた ばかり の まご を できあい する あまり、 しごと を やすん で まで あいにくる。
My father is so obsessed with his new grandchild that he even takes off work to come see him.
Literally: “father + was born + just + の +grandchild + doting on / crazy about + do + so that + work + を + take a break + even + come to see”
Now like always, it's your turn!
Come up with a few sentences of your own using this grammar point.
This lesson was written by Cassy L., a guest contributor: