673 - ~にくい

JLPT N4: ~にくい (hard to VERB)

In the last lesson, we saw how ~やすい can attach to the ます-stem of VERBS when we want to say "easy to VERB."

In contrast to that, ~にくい attaches to the ます-stem of VERBS when we want to say "hard to VERB" or "difficult to VERB."

An example:


この鍋は重くて使いにくいです。
この なべ は おもくて つかいにくい です。
This pot is heavy and difficult to use.
Literally: “this + pot / saucepan + は + heavy (and) + hard to use + です.”

So, that's...

使う(つかう // to use

使います(つかいます // use

使いにくいつかいにくい // hard to use


The pattern:

V ますにくい
hard to VERB


In our next example, we'll use the verb:

寝る(ねる // to sleep

ます(ねます // sleep

にくいねにくい // hard to sleep


腰を怪我してから、うつぶせでにくくなった。
こし を けが して から、 うつぶせ で ねにくく なった。
Ever since I hurt my (lower) back, it’s been hard to sleep on my stomach.
Literally: “back / lower back / (area around the) waist + を + injury + do (and) + from, + lying on one’s stomach + で + hard to sleep + became.”


~にくい can be used in both negative and positive sentences (as can ~やすい).

For example:


白い車は汚れが目立ちにくいです。
しろい くるま は よごれ が めだちにくい です。
White cars tend to look less dirty.
Literally: “white + car + は + dirt / filth + が + hard to stand out + です.”

目立つ(めだつ // to stand out; to be conspicuous

目立ちます(めだちます // stands out; is conspicuous

目立ちにくい目立ちにくい // less likely to stand out

I suppose I could have put "With white cars, it's hard for dirt to stand out," but "White cars tend to look less dirty" sounded like more natural English to me.


Last one:

太る(ふとる // to gain weight

太ります(ふとります // gain weight

太りにくいふとりにくい // hard to gain weight


Again, you'll see that my full-sentence translation is not very literal:


ココナッツオイルは太りにくい油です。
ココナッツオイル は ふとりにくい あぶら です。
You’re less likely to gain weight from coconut oil.
Literally: “coconut oil + は + hard to gain weight + oil + です.”


Finished!

Both ~やすい and ~にくい are used quite commonly, so be sure to master them!




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