Compare がたい gatai and にくい nikui

Compare がたい gatai and にくい nikui

Hi everyone! Suppose there is a situation like this: You find it difficult to use a machine, which expression will you choose to express the idea “It is difficult to use”,(使い)にくい or がたい? To help you understand how to use がたい and にくい better, in this post, Learn Japanese Daily will introduce to you the lesson : Compare がたい gatai and にくい nikui.

Compare がたい gatai and にくい nikui


Both grammar structures express the meaning “difficult to do something” and are used with Vます(remove ます).


がたい gatai

がたい means “Even if the subject wants to do / intends to do something, it can’t be done easily”.

Example :

Kare ga katatta mukashi no hanashi ha shinji gatai desu.
It’s hard to believe in the old story he told. (It’s unbelievable even if the speaker wants to believe it).

Ima zenbu ha setsumei shigatai joukyou ni narimashita.
Everything fell into a situation where it is difficult to explain.

A : “Ne-, kyou no kaigi ha nanika juuyou no koto ga aru?”
B  : “Chotto iigatai desu ne. kimi ha jibun de sanka shite kikeba ii noni…”
A  : “Hey, is there anything important in the meeting today ?”
B  : “It’s hard to say. I wish you had joined and listened by yourself…”

にくい nikui

にくい means “You still can do something hard if you try your best”.

The opposite usage of this structure is「やすい」

Moreover, this structure also means “to be uncomfortable when doing something”.

Example :

Kono purinto no tsukai kata no setsumei ga wakaranai. Hontou ni tsukai nikui kikai da.
I don’t understand the explanation of the use of this printer. It’s a really hard to use machine.

Kono pen de kanji wo kaki nikui desu.
It’s hard to write kanji with this pen.

A  : “Kono bunshou ha nande yokogaki ni naru no? Yomi nikui desu yo. Tate gaki ni shite kudasai.”
B : “Hai, wakatta.”
A : “Why is this sentence horizontal? It’s hard to read. Please write vertically.”
B : “Yes, I got it.”

Exercise for consolidating knowledge:

Choose the correct answer :


夏川(なつかわ)作家の小説の深い(ふかい)意味はとても分かりにくいので、学生に二度と読めと勧めます。: The deep meaning of Natsukawa’s novel is very difficult to understand, so I encourage students to read it again. (The deep meaning of the novel is difficult to understand, but if you try your best, you still can understand it)


同僚(どうりょう)をこんなにいじめるのは許しがたい行為(こうい)だと思います。 : I think bullying colleagues is hard to forgive (This action can’t be forgiven even if you want to forgive it.)


この薬は苦くて、飲みにくいです。: This medicine is bitter, so it is difficult to take. (The medicine is bitter, but if you try, you still can take it.)


前の彼氏のひどい性格を耐え(たえ)がたいので別れました。 : I could not stand the bad personality of my ex-boyfriend, so I broke up with him. (No matter how hard I try, I can’t stand the bad personality of my ex-boyfriend)


この壊れた(こわれた)カメラはいろいろな思い出を込めるので、捨て(すて)がたいだ。 : This broken camera has many memories, so it’s hard for me to throw away (No matter how hard I try, I can’t throw this broken camera away)


この英語の言葉の読み方、覚えにくい。 : It’s hard to remember the pronunciation of this English word. (Although this English word is difficult to remember, you still can remember it if you try your best.)

In this post, Learn Japanese Daily has helped you compare がたい gatai and にくい nikui.

See other similar lessons at category: so sánh ngữ pháp tiếng Nhật.

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