881 - ~っこない

JLPT N2: ~っこない (there's no way)

This will be a nice, short lesson. Yay.

~っこない can be added to the ます-stem of verbs when you want to say "there's no way that VERB."

V ますっこない
there's no way that VERB

It is only used in casual language. Here is an example:

君がどんなに頑張ったって、彼には勝てっこないよ。
きみ が どんな に がんばったって、 かれ に は かてっこない よ。
It doesn’t matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to beat him.
Literally: “you + が + how much (=what kind of + に) + even if you tried hard, + he + に + は + there’s no way (you) can win + よ.”

 

It is very common to use ~っこない when talking about the impossibility or great unlikeliness of something. It is used in statements that express the speaker's opinion.

Another example:

こんな難しい計算、まだ7歳のアキラにはできっこない
こんな むずかしい けいさん、 まだ ななさい の アキラ に は できっこない。
There’s no way that Akira, who’s still only seven, could possibly do a calculation this difficult.
Literally: “this kind of + difficult + calculation, + still + 7 years old + の + Akira + に + は + there’s no way (he) can do.”

 

~っこない is quite similar to the phrases わけがない and はずがない, which are JLPT N3 grammar topics. The main difference, again, is that you would not typically encounter ~っこない anywhere but in casual language.

Yet another example:

お金の無駄だよ。宝くじなんて、当たりっこないんだから。
おかね の むだ だ よ。 たからくじ なんて、 あたりっこない んだ から。
The lottery’s a waste of money. You’ll never win.
Literally: “money + の + waste + だ + よ. + lottery + なんて, + there’s no way (you’ll) win + んだ + because.”

 

What do you think? Making sense?

This is one of those grammar points that I hear people using from time to time... and am always reminded that I'm not using it in my own Japanese.

Time for that to change, I'd say...

 A:
嘘がばれたらどうするつもり?
うそ が ばれたら どう する つもり?
What are you planning to do if they find out you’re lying?
Literally: “lie + が + if it were exposed + how + do + intention?”

 B:
ばれっこないから大丈夫。
ばれっこない から だいじょうぶ。
No one’s ever gonna find out, so don’t worry about it.
Literally: “there’s no way (the lie) will be exposed + because + OK.”

 

Finished! See? I told you the lesson would be short. :)
Discussion

3 comments