Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 4: 16/21

くらい ②
to the extent that, so…that, about the only thing that...

くらい and ぐらい may be used 100% interchangably, but ぐらい is far more common in speech

Verb + くらい(1)
[い]Adjective + くらい(1)
[な]Adjective + + くらい(1)
Noun + くらい(1)

(1) ぐらい
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Often, the 名詞(めいし) (noun) くらい is used as a 副助詞(ふくじょし) (adverbial particle). This use of くらい (or ぐらい) expresses the limit of something, in a similar way to ほど. This means that it can be translated as ‘about (A)’, ‘so (A) that (B)’, or ‘(A) to the extent of (B)’. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
  • 今日(きょう)はもう一生(いっしょう)走(はし)りくないくらい走(はし)った。
    Today, I ran so much that I don't want to run again in my whole life.
  • わたしも叫(さけ)びたいくらい、怖(こわ)かった。
    I was so scared that I wanted to scream too.
  • 5連休(れんきゅう)が必要(ひつよう)ぐらい疲(つか)れています
    I am tired to the extent that it is necessary for me to have 5 days off.
  • 俺(おれ)もキヨミさんくらいピアノ弾(ひ)けるようになりたい
    I want to be able to play the piano about the level of Kiyomi-san.
Despite translating in the above ways, we can see that this use of くらい is similar to the standard kanji use 位(くらい), which literally means a ‘rank’, or ‘grade’ of something. What this means is that (A) will usually be considered to be at the ‘grade’ of something that was required in order to cause/allow (B).
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I am so tired that I don't want to do anything but sleep.
I want to be skilled to the extent that pro athletes are.
I have studied to the extent that I can speak a little Japanese.
[AIAIJ] An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese
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