409 - ~気味

As we get into more N2 grammar, you have the opportunity to make your speaking and writing a bit more flavorful. All the grammar points that you are learning should be practiced as much as possible to get yourself used to using them.

Isn’t it a great feeling when you finally get to use a grammar point you have been learning, or even better, when you understand it when someone speaks to you?

Today we are learning about the colorful ~気味 (ぎみ).

By itself, 気味 is pronounced きみ and it means something along the lines of "feeling."

When it attaches to another word, though, as we'll see in this lesson, the き changes to ぎ, giving us ~気味 (~ぎみ), which means "a touch of; a bit of; a dash of; etc." In other words...

~気味 is added to nouns or verbs to indicate that something or someone has a "touch of something," a slight tendency to be a certain way.

Here is the construction:

Vます-stem + 気味
NOUN + 気味

太る(ふとる // to get fat
太り気味ふとりぎみ // a bit fat

風邪(かぜ // a cold
風邪気味かぜ ぎみ // a touch of a cold


And a few example sentences of how it is used:

ちょっと風邪気味なので、ビタミンCをたくさん摂るようにしています。
ちょっと かぜぎみ なので、 ビタミンシー を たくさん とる ように しています。
Since I have a slight cold, I'm being careful to take a lot of vitamin C.
Literally: “little + a cold + a touch of + because (=なので) + vitamin C + を + a lot + take + am being sure to do.”


彼はをUFOを見たときのことを興奮気味に話し始めた。
かれ は ユーフォー を みた とき の こと を こうふんぎみ に はなし はじめた。
He somewhat excitedly started talking about the time he saw a UFO.
Literally: “he + は + UFO + を + saw + time + の + こと + を + excitement + a touch of + に + started to talk.”


気味 is often used for negative feelings.

This doesn’t always have to be the case, but more often than not, 気味 has a negative feeling.


わたしのおばあちゃんは毎日甘いものを食べているせいで太り気味です。
わたし の おばあちゃん は まいにち あまい もの を たべている せいで ふとりぎみ です。
My grandma is kind of fat because she eats sweets every day.
Literally: “I + の + grandma + は + every day + sweet + things + を + eating + due to + getting fat + a touch of + です.”


ここ数年、サッカーの人気はラグビーの盛り上がりに押され気味ですね。
ここ すうねん、 サッカー の にんき は ラグビー の もりあがり に おされぎみ です ね。
In the last few years, the popularity of soccer has been slightly losing ground to rugby, hasn't it?
Literally: “these + last few years + soccer + の + popularity + は + rugby + の + swelling / excitement + に + losing ground + a touch of + です + ね.”
Note: By itself the passive verb 押される means "to be pushed/pressed." But you can also find the word 押され気味 in dictionaries as "being on the ropes; losing ground."


Over to you! Can you think of a few example sentences using ~気味?

This is my dog's 疲れ気味 (つかれぎみ // a bit tired) face after a long walk:


This lesson was written by Cassy L., a guest contributor:


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