Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 9: 7/22


Being unable to finish or complete


Verb[ます+ ()れない


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About 切れない

In the negative-potential form, ()れない will attach to the conjunctive form of other verbs, to express that a particular action is 'unable to be completed'. Let's look at some examples.
  • 大盛(おおもり)(たの)むの?いくらあなたでもここ大盛(おおもり)()きれない(おも)よ。
    Are you going to order the large one? I don't think you can possibly finish the portion they serve here.
  • あの(やま)一日(いちにち)(のぼ)()れない
    You can't possibly finish climbing this mountain in one day.
Unlike (), which usually attaches to verbs to show that something was done to the point of running out, ()れない often implies the exact opposite. This means that the (A) verb cannot be completed specifically because there is too much/many of something in order to finish it.
  • 宇宙(うちゅう)(かぞ)()れないほど(ほし)がある
    There are too many stars in space to count. (Can't finish counting)
  • この(にく)(あつ)すぎて()()()れない
    This meat is so thick that it is not possible to chew with your teeth.
()れない may also imply that something cannot be done 'to the point of satisfaction'. In this case, the feeling of dissatisfaction is what the speaker considers too much to overcome.
  • (わたし)この気持(きも)ちは言葉(ことば)(あらわ)きれない
    I cannot possibly explain this feeling of mine with words. (Cannot explain satisfactorily)
  • (たの)しみ()ぎて()きれない
    I am so excited that I can't wait. (Cannot wait satisfactorily)


  • (そら)(ほし)(かず)(かぞ)()れない

    You can't completely count the number of stars in the sky.

  • (さら)(おお)すぎて、(あら)()れない

    There are too many dishes. I will be unable to finish washing them.

  • (から)かったから、()()れなかった

    Because it was spicy, I was unable to finish eating the food.

  • この(あふ)れる(おも)いを(おさ)()れない

    I am unable to completely control my emotions from overflowing.

  • 貨物(かもつ)(おお)すぎて()()れない一部(いちぶ)()いていくしかないな。

    There is too much cargo and I cannot load it completely. There is no choice but to leave part of it.

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