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第139ー 〜さ・〜め

Hello everyone! Today we are going to look at a suffix for turning adjectives into nouns.

If you’re thinking we’re talking about the suffix -さ to make nouns, well, you’re, kind of, wrong! Today we’re looking at adjective + め. How are the two different? Let’s take a look!

When you add -さ to an adjective (you have to drop the ending -い for i-adjectives), that adjective simply becomes a noun as follows:

はやい = early
はやさ = earliness

おおきな = big
おおきさ = largeness (size)

あつい = hot
あつさ = heat / hotness

You get the idea.

Now, adding the -め suffix instead of -さ still turns the adjective into a noun, however the difference is that it gives the meaning of “just a little/slightly” as in “a little fast” or “a little cleaner” etc. Let’s look at our examples from above again, but with -め added this time.

はやい = early
はやめ* = (a little) early

おおきな = big
おおきめ = a little big / large

あつい = hot
あつめ = a little hot/heat

*はやめに is often used in speech to mean to do something a little earlier than expected/planned.

1- 早はやめにかえる。
To return home a little early (earlier than planned, etc.).

When you use an adjective with -め and want to use it to modify another noun, you need to add the possessive particle の as in 高めの山 (a slightly high mountain).

2- 目標もくひょうたかめに設定せっていする。
to set a little higher goal.

3- 高たかめの場所ばしょ
a (slightly) high place.

Let’s look at some more examples using -さ and -め.

4- 日本一にほんいち富士山ふじさんたかさは3776mだ。
The highest mountain in Japan, Mt. Fuji, has a height of 3776 meters.

5- 今日きょうはなんであつさだ!
Man, what heat today! (Today is so hot!)

6- あのピッチャーのボールのはやさはなんキロくらいだろう?
How fast is that pitcher’s ball? (lit. how many km is the speed of the ball of that pitcher?)

7- このスーパーは有機野菜ゆうきやさいあつかっているので、値段ねだんたかめに設定せっていされている。
The prices are set a little higher since this supermarket handles organic vegetables.

8- 今日きょうつかれたので、はやめにます。
I’m gonna sleep early since I’m tired today.

9- 今日きょうぼくつくったカレーは、スパイスがいていて、からめで美味おいしい。
The spices I put in the curry I made today are kicking in and the spiciness is making it delicious.

Happy reading!

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