How to Say “As Long As” in Japanese – JLPT N1 Grammar: かぎり

Posted by on July 22, 2020 – Japanese Study
jlpt n1 grammar kagiri

As you may know by now, the Japanese language has many different and nuanced expressions in their grammar. In this blog post we are taking a look at a more advanced grammar point: JLPT N1 – かぎり(kagiri).

In the above video, Nami-sensei shows us some examples for using かぎり in context.

JLPT N1 Grammar: What Does かぎり Mean?

かぎり is a JLPT N1 grammar point that means something like “as long as”, “while ~ is the case” in Japanese. As Nami-sensei shows us in the video above, かぎり expresses when someone is strongly feeling:

  • 寂しい (samishii/sabishii) → “lonely”
  • 嬉しい (ureshii) → “happy”
  • 羨ましい (urayamashii) → “jealous”
  • ありがたい (arigatai) → “grateful”
  • other emotions

In short, you can use かぎり or かぎりです to describe your emotions being at their upward limit. So “(while something is true), 私は寂しいかぎりです” means “(while something is true) I am extremely lonely.”

How to Use かぎり in a Sentence

Using かぎり in a sentence is fairly simple – just make sure you are using it correctly. Check out the video above for all of Nami-sensei’s examples!

Here is one of the examples from the video:

Example

親友がアメリカに留学するので寂しいかぎりです。
Shinyuu ga amerika ni ryuugaku suru no de sabishii kagiridesu.
“While my best friend is studying in America, I will miss her a lot / I will be extremely lonely.”

In this example, the speaker (Nami-sensei) is expressing her own emotions. She is saying that while her best friend is in America, her sadness will be at its limit. Pretty straightforward, right? 🙂

Point of Caution Regarding かぎり

かぎり is used to refer to one’s own emotions, and therefore should not be used when describing someone else’s feelings.

For example, you wouldn’t say:

彼女は寂しいかぎりです。
Kanojo wa samishii kagiri desu
She is extremely sad.

Because the speaker is not expressing their own emotions, they are referring to someone else. So just keep this in mind in your Japanese conversations as well as for the JLPT N1!

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