Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 7: 14/17


There is a limit to, You are too ..., How …!, How … one can be!


Verb + ほどある
[い]Adjective + + ほどある
[な]Adjective + + ほどある
Noun + + ほどある


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About にもほどがある

にも(ほど)がある is an expression that will often be used fairly critically in order to state that something is too much, based on the speaker's personal opinion. Common translations include 'how (A) can one be', 'there is a limit to (A)', or 'you are too (A)'.
Being that it is composed of the case-marking particle に, adverbial particle も, the noun (ほど) 'bounds', and がある 'to have', the more literal meaning of 'there are bounds even within (A)' also carries the critical nuance of the more standard translations.
This structure may follow almost any word type in their standard forms.
  • (まえ)またぶっ(たお)れるまで()(つづ)けたの?()()にも(ほど)があるよ。
    You drank until you blacked again? There is a limit to how much you should drink.
  • あいつからまたメールがきた。また「今夜(こんや)()めて!」だってさ。図々(すうすう)しいにも(ほど)があるって。
    I got a text from him again. He said, 'Let me crash at your place again!' There is a limit to how shameless one can be.
  • 敬語(けいご)使(つか)わないのは(べつ)として、先輩(せんぱい)()かって「お(まえ)」っていうのはどうかと(おも)うよ。失礼(しつれい)にも(ほど)がある
    Setting aside you not using keigo, I don't think you should say 'you' towards your senpai. There is a limit to how impolite you can be.
  • そういうことは相手(あいて)(きず)つけるかもしれないから冗談(じょうだん)にしないほうがいいよ。冗談(じょうだん)にも(ほど)がある
    Things like that could hurt the other person's feelings, so you should not joke about that. There are limits to jokes too.
Despite being used negatively in the vast majority of situations, there are instances where にも(ほど)がある will be used positively with adjectives such as かわいい 'cute' or うまい 'delicious'. In sentences like this, the grammar structure is being used jokingly to express admiration or approval.
  • なんだこれは!(みせ)()せるほどの美味(おい)しさじゃん!うまいにも(ほど)があるだろ。
    What the heck is this!? This is so good you can open a restaurant! There is a limit to how good it can be!


  • 自信(じしん)()()ぎている友達(ともだち)1:(おそ)かれ(はや)かれノーベル(しょう)受賞(じゅしょう)してみせる。」

    Overconfident friend1: 'Sooner or later, I will definitely win a Nobel Prize.'
    Friend2 who is reacting to the overstatement: 'Getting a Nobel Prize? There are limits to jokes, too.'

    • Aが勝手(かって)にBの部屋(へや)(はい)ってきた状況(じょうきょう):「こんな時間(じかん)部屋(へや)()しかけてくるなんて、いったいどういう神経(しんけい)しているんだ。失礼(しつれい)にもほどがある。」

      A situation in which A entered B's room without permission: 'What a nerve, to barge into a person's room at this hour. There is a limit to how impolite you can be!'

      Expressions like デリカシーがない might be used instead of 失礼 to make the sentence more friendly.

      • (つね)迷子(まいご)になってしまう方向(ほうこう)音痴(おんち)友人(ゆうじん)へ:「高校生(こうこうせい)のくせに学校(がっこう)から(かえ)途中(とちゅう)(みち)(まよ)うなんて方向(ほうこう)音痴(おんち)にもほどがある。」

        To a friend with a poor sense of direction that gets lost on daily basis: 'To get lost on the way home from school despite being a high schooler, there is a limit to how bad with directions you can be!'

        • 「まったく最近(さいきん)(わか)()って、目上(めうえ)(ひと)がしゃべっているのにおしゃべりするなんて礼儀知(れいぎし)らずにもほどがある。」

          'Seriously, youths these days, to talk when one's superior is talking, there is a limit to how mannerless one can be.'

          • (おや)友達(ともだち)(はな):「うちの子供(こども)たちはずっと一日中(いちにちじゅう)二人(ふたり)ゲームしてる()きてから(なに)()べずにゲーム三昧(ざんまい)()健康(けんこう)生活(せいかつ)にもほどがあるよね。」

            Parent speaks with a friend: 'My children play games all day long. They wake up and without eating anything, and then they are absorbed in their games. There is a limit to how unhealthy life one can live.'

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