Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 10: 14/21


Not well or properly, Not much or enough, Barely, Hardly

Other forms - 碌に


ろくに + (Negative) Phrase


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About 陸に~ない

When the adverb (ろく)に 'satisfactorily' appears in ない sentences, it indicates that (A) is 'not satisfactory', 'not enough', or 'not being done properly'. This grammar pattern appears at the beginning of phrases, before the (B) part of the sentence will include a ない word, often a verb in its potential form.
  • 息子(むすこ)英語(えいご)ろくに(はな)ないのに、アメリカにひとりで()くそうだ。大丈夫(だいじょうぶ)かな。
    Apparently my son is going to the States, even though he can barely speak English. I hope he will be okay.
  • あの(ひと)ろくに仕事(しごと)出来(でき)ないのに、(えら)そうな態度(たいど)をとるから会社(かいしゃ)(じゅう)(きら)われている。
    He is disliked by everyone in the company because he has an arrogant attitude even though he can barely do his job.
  • 仕事(しごと)(いそが)しすぎて、ここ最近(さいきん)ろくに友達(ともだち)にも()えてない
    Because I am so busy, I barely have time to see my friends.
While ろくに will often appear in the kanji form, it is also common to see this structure in hiragana alone. Alternatively, (ろく) may also sometimes be seen, but this particular kanji is ateji (a kanji used purely for its pronunciation, not its meaning).
  • 近所(きんじょ)のワンちゃんが(あさ)までずっと()えていたから、昨晩(さくばん)(ろく)()なかった
    A dog in my neighborhood was barking until this morning so I barely got any sleep.
  • (まめ)なんて(ろく)()ないのに、うちには(まめ)缶詰(かんずめ)がいっぱいある。
    I have a lot of canned beans at home even though I hardly eat them.
This particular grammar point often has the nuance of something that is being done without sufficient effort, or is half-baked.
Fun-fact - (りく) comes from the kanji meaning 'land', and is used with the reading of ろく when the nuance is flatness, correctness, or seriousness.




    Far from baking a cake, he can't even cook a simple meal properly. (hardly・not well)


    Every day I am woken up by my cat, so I can't sleep well. (hardly・not properly)


    Despite barely knowing any English, dad tried to give directions to a foreign couple. (hardly・not well/properly)


    Even though we had barely prepared, I had them open the shop. (hardly・not well/properly)


    I went on stage, not having properly prepared, and it was a disaster. (hardly/barely・not well)

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      陸に~ない – Grammar Discussion

      Most Recent Replies (5 in total)

      • s1212z


        Yeah, I saw that but I don’t see why, the meaning is pretty solid ( 陸に should be ateji, not 碌に)

        I now see there are a couple sources that have it otherwise too. Adverbial definition list both but 碌に as primary. Again, not a big deal if kana only, just curious.

      • nekoyama


        My other dictionaries all agree on which one is ateji.

        I couldn’t find anything definitive online, only some theories about the satisfactory/proper/normal meaning coming from a comparison of flat land vs. uneven land. I’m not sure about those but my 古語 dictionary does list that meaning for 陸 (it doesn’t have an entry for 碌).

      • oreoreo


        What is the difference between ろくに and ちゃんと?

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