Whats the difference between ほど and くらい?

Hello experts,

I’m currently kind of stuck at this grammar point. Here are some examples, where i have no idea why i should pick one or the other. It’ from the book i work with.

びっくりするほど/くらい大きい赤ちゃん。 (both works? why?)
あの人くらい/ほど真面目な人はいない。(both works? why?)

Can you help me understand it?
Thank you :smiley:


Well, according to “Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar”,


None of these examples use those senses of ほど / くらい, unfortunately.


Yeah, sorry, I was replying to the title :sweat_smile:

Ok, as Leebo 先輩 hasn’t followed up with the explanation yet, I’ll try to explain, but I’m just a small clumsy cat, so my explanation would not be any good. Which is why, instead I’ll just post the extracts from the Dictionary and hope it would help.




Nah, i still don’t get it at all. I know in basic what it means but i have no idea why i sometimes can use both and sometimes not. That’s why i asked for the difference. But thanks for your post (:


Well, 野菜は、新しいほど美味しい。 must be ほど because this is the “the more X, the more Y” meaning (“the fresher vegetables are, the better they taste”), and you cannot express that using くらい. (This one’s in the Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar.)

I’m not sure why 彼女くらい親切な人はいない。won’t work with ほど.

Which book are you getting these from?


you can check bunpro





The kanojo and vegetable ones sound wrong to me in the first place, which is kinda sus

Ah ok, so for “the more X, the more Y” ほど is unchangeable. Get it. Still some mysteries to solve >_<

I work with the book series “日本語総まとめ Nihongo So-Matome” but only for grammar. I think its pretty good but sometimes its lacking explanations so i frequently have something to think about.

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Ok so regarding of the explanation for ほど, it’s more connected to emphasis things. That would explain the 野菜 sentence where the speaker refers to the taste and his opinion.

But there are 2 examples and the meaning is absolutely the same.
Today, I ran so much that I don’t want to run again in my whole life.
Today, I ran so much that I never want to run again.

One uses くらい the other ほど. I really don’t get the difference.

Also here? Why both? I would choose ほど because of the fact that the speaker is talking about the emotion.
彼女くらい親切な人はいない。Here, both is possible, but why?

彼女くらい親切な人はいない。Also both is possible regarding to my book. I just didn’t see it.

Maybe if you could explain why you feel like one or the other is making you feel this way it would help.

What about ほど or くらい makes you say “I don’t see why they both work here.”

Considering that they can be defined with each other in Japanese, to me it seems like the overlapping ones would be less surprising.

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Don’t have time to translate this here right now (starting work in a 瞬間)but if you can read Japanese, I thought the explanation was good - and so might you.


Sometimes its interchangeable, sometimes not. And i don’t get what is the difference. I mean in all my examples instead of the 野菜 one, both are possible. pm215 explained this part but the other ones are still a mystery to me.

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Uff, tried, but failed :smiley:

You can recognize the differences in the structures that determine when you can’t use both though, right? That’s the important thing.

Answering “why” they ended up in this state might require reading some research paper on it.


After more research, i found my solution. And it’s well nice explained. If interested, see yourself.

Thanks for your answers guys. Sometimes it needs time and multiple explanations to get where you want.


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