Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 10: 6/20

(くせ)

Even though, And yet, Despite

Structure

Verb + くせに
[い]Adjective + くせに
[な]Adjective + + くせに
Noun + + くせに

Details

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    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About くせに

(くせ) is a noun that means 'habit' or 'tendency'. However, as it usually refers to a negative thing, 'vice' is another accurate translation. くせに (usually appearing without kanji) is the combination of くせ, and the case marking particle に. This structure is often used to criticize the actions of others, and is used in a similar way to 'despite', 'even though', or 'and yet' in English.
As くせ is a noun, くせに may be used after the attributive form of any other word.
  • さっき()って()ってたくせにまだ()きてる
    Even though you said that you are going to sleep earlier, are you still up?
  • (わか)くせに(なに)ダラダラしている
    Why are you working so sluggishly even though you are young?
  • 自分(じぶん)だって下手(へた)くせに(なに)(えら)そうに()ってるん
    Despite you also being no pro, why are you talking so high and mighty.
  • この()(いぬ)くせにニャー()く。
    Even though he is a dog, he meows.
Fun Fact
(くせ) is a word that has developed a 'negative' meaning over time. Originally, (くせ) was used to convey a preference, or the side that someone or something tended to lean toward (due to it being favorable for some reason). When adding the case marking particle to this, it merely expressed that (A) was the preferable state/location, so (B) not being/not acting in a way appropriate for (A) is less than desirable.

Examples

  • 給料(きゅうりょう)沢山(たくさん)もらうくせに貯金(ちょきん)がないらしい。

    Despite getting paid a lot, I have heard that he has no savings.

  • (やす)くせに(いえ)手伝(てつだ)いを(なに)しない。

    Even though it is your day off, you don't help at all with the housework.

  • (あつ)くせにあの(ひと)毎日(まいにち)セーター()仕事(しごと)()

    It is hot and yet, that person wears a sweater to work everyday.

  • あの(ひと)先輩(せんぱい)くせにいつも(ぼく)におごらせようとする

    Despite being my senior, he/she always tries to make me pay.

  • (なに)()らないくせに(えら)そうなことを()のはやめてください。

    Despite not knowing anything, you surely act high and mighty. Please just stop.

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くせに – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (5 in total)

  • _max

    _max

    About 10 days ago

    Thank you for the answer!
    But really still pretty confused.
    癖に is kind of the same as のに, but with criticism.
    So it’s like “despite”, “even though”, etc.
    But in the example sentence we want to say “because”, not “even though”.
    “Because you are a man, don’t cry”, not “Even though you are a man, don’t cry”, correct?
    That’s why for me 癖に sounds strange in this sentence.

  • Scyamntic

    Scyamntic

    About 6 days ago

    I think the fun fact for the gramar point helps to elucidate here:

    () is a word that has developed a ‘negative’ meaning over time. Originally, () was used to convey a preference, or the side that someone or something tended to lean toward (due to it being favorable for some reason). When adding the case marking particle に to this, it merely expressed that (A) was the preferable state/location, so (B) not being/not acting in a way appropriate for (A) is less than desirable.

    So 男のくせに泣くな

    Can be thought of as:

    • “From the standpoint of being a man, not crying is prefereable”

    Or taking the more “habit” oriented meaning

    • “A habit of men is not crying”

    Definitely a weird coming from English, but the key take away to add to the primary meaning of “despite” in my opinion is this feeling of “(B) not being preferable”

  • _max

    _max

    About 6 days ago

    Wow, it really works! Thank you, didn’t pay much attention to the “Fun Fact” section.
    Now, it kind of makes sense.

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