Why is "あまり" useable in the phrase "にくがあまりすきじゃありませんね"?

Asked 8 years ago

This phrase is from the 2nd to last panel in the lesson "A cafeteria conversation" currently page 17 in the classroom.

When it was first introduced, あまり was only to be used with negative endings, and while I supposed technically this phrase goes on to become negative it seems like it is more split into 2 pieces separated by "じゃ" and "あまり" is in the first part used to characterize liking something not very much (but no negative to be found).

My attempt at translating it is thus:

I (only) somewhat like meat, so I won't have it.

Is that accurate?

Know someone who might be able to answer this question?

1 Answer


The word あまり is used as an adverb when used in negative sentences.  You can see this in: http://www.nihongomaster.com/dictionary/entry/56276/%E4%BD%99%E3%82%8A-%E9%A4%98%E3%82%8A-%E3%81%82%E3%81%BE%E3%82%8A-amari-%E3%81%82%E3%82%93%E3%81%BE%E3%82%8A-anmari

Since it's used in the negative sentence, it should be translated as I don't care for meat. Or I'm not very fond of meat.  In Japanese culture, people rarely say they HATE something or they REFUSE to do something.  They tend to "soften the blow" when saying something negative.  I think this is a pretty good example of that.

Answered 8 years ago