Grammar Info
N2 Lesson 7: 5/21

兼(か)ねる
cannot・be unable to, hard to, hesitant to

Should be used only with transitive words with the exception of わかる and できる

Structure
Casual
Formal
Verb[ます+ かねる
Verb[ます+ かねます
Details
Register Formal
使用域 硬い
Information
  • [Used to say that someone wants to do something, but because of some (external or psychological) circumstances, cannot]
  • [Unlike 〜得ない, 兼ねる exhibits a reluctance or hesitance that prevents someone from doing something]
  • [かねる is used to indicate that while something can be done, the act of doing that thing would spread the speaker too thin - this is why it is often used to describe taking too many jobs/responsibilities]
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生徒(せいと):時間(じかん)旅行(りょこう)ができると思(おも)います。
先生(せんせい):そのような意見(いけん)には、とうてい同意(どうい)しかねます
Student: I think that time travel is possible.
Teacher: I just cannot agree with such an opinion.
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悪(わる)いけど、試験(しけん)これ以上(いじょう)良(よ)い点数(てんすう)をつけかねる
I am sorry, but I cannot give you a better score on the exam than that.
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匿名(とくめい)の大臣(だいじん)さん: 将来(しょうらい)の財政(ざいせい)赤字(あかじ)に関(かん)する首相(しゅしょう)の言葉(ことば)は信(しん)じかねる。反対(はんたい)するわけにもいかないので、うなずくしかない。
Anonymous cabinet minister: It is hard to believe the prime minister's words about the future budget deficit. However, because I can't oppose them, I just nod.
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Books
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 327