Not so sure how to translate a sentence

Hello, I am just reading a book, and cannot figure out how the sentence “郊外らしく背の高い建物があまりない落ち着いた雰囲気のベッドタウン” is translated, and not sure how the “背” is either connected to the preceding or next words, nor about how it’s “があまりない” rather than “あまり~ない”, and am struggling to find a good explanation.
Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Edit: fixed the incomplete sentence


背の高い is “tall” dictionary

So the sentence breaks down to

郊外らしく - like in the suburbs, connective form く
背の高い - tall
建物 - buildings
が - so the part before this is the subject
あまり - when paired with a negative, means “not much”
ない - isn’t

“there aren’t tall building’s, just like in the suburbs”

Small edit because of huge mistake


背の高い means tall.
So, I would translate it as “Like in the suburbs, there are not many tall buildings here”


I see, just curious, but all sources tend to tell me that 背の高い is used for a person’s height. Is this incorrect?

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This is a good question :sweat_smile:

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Well, better question would be where you’ve found this sentence, it is in fact a bit strange. Bit like it’s from some non native speaker or something.


I’ll send a link in a moment


Oh, it’s bunny girl senpai

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I believe it is on page 1, fifth line across

yeah haha :sweat_smile:

Eh, must be a usage then. If I put it into quotes, it does have a few hits on google that all seem dubious at best.


It is certainly strange how it is used, my first thought is that the 背 could perhaps be separated from the 高い建物 and talking about the height of tall buildings, but that’s just a guess

No, wouldn’t make much sense, if it was grouped like 背の(高い建物), that would be the tall building’s of the back


that’s fair

I think you two are making the same mistake. Its not like the suburbs, it is the suburbs. Unless im having a critical misunderstanding, the person is in the suburbs. Saying something is like the suburbs makes it sound like its not the suburbs.

You can translate it a lot of different ways but its more like “As you would expect from the suburbs”, “Typical of the suburbs…”, etc…

To kinda give an example, if you say some behavior is Vanillaらしい you can only say that to me. You can’t listen to someone elses comment or what they do and call it vanillaらしい. らしい is reserved for the thing itself. Things about me are the only thing you would call vanillaらしい or vanillaらしくない


I see, thank you! wricat

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Without any context, it can be both.

Full sentence is actually
“A bedroom community with not many tall buildings and a relaxed atmosphere, typical of suburbs”

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I dunno, for instance this from a page about an earthquake simulator:


and this one about the Kyoto Tower


both seem reasonable to me.


No, I don’t think it can is what I’m saying. I checked with a native just now and she also said its the suburbs. If you say you understand that and still think “like” doesn’t give the impression that its not the suburbs, then well I guess thats just a disagreement on english and I don’t have any strong opinions about that.


Oh yeah sorry, the full sentence went to the next line and I didn’t notice :sweat_smile:

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