Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 5: 20/20

quite a few, quite a lot, many, not a few, not a little

Noun + (1) + 少なくない

Noun + (1) + 少なくありません

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使用域 一般
Another expression that utilizes the 少(すく) kanji (meaning ‘few’), in its い-Adjective form, is 少(すく)なくない. This is an example of a double negative in Japanese, as 少(すく)ない ‘a few’ is being negated in 少(すく)なくない. Therefore, the meaning is ‘not a few’, and translates more closely to ‘quite a few’, or ‘quite a lot’.
To use this expression, simply pair a noun with , , or , and then follow it with 少(すく)なくない (or 少(すく)なくありません).
  • 漢字(かんじ)書(か) のが嫌(きら)い子(こ)少(すく)なくない
    There are quite a few children that dislike writing kanji.
  • 私(わたし)好(す)き嫌(きら)い少(すく)なくないんです
    I have many things that I like and dislike.
  • 寝(ね)前(まえ)にお菓子(かし)食(た)べ人(ひと)少(すく)なくない
    There are also many people that eat snacks before they sleep.
The ない in 少(すく)ない is not the い-Adjective ない, but part of the word 少(すく)ない itself. There are several い-Adjectives like this in Japanese, and they will need to be remembered.
  • 今年(ことし)去年(きょねん)よりも雨(あめ)降(ふ)日(ひ)少(すく)ない
    Compared to last year, there are fewer days with rain this year.
  • 天気(てんき)悪(わる)時(とき)に釣(つ)りに行(い)くのは危(あぶ)な
    It is dangerous to go fishing when the weather's bad.
  • 手(て)汚(きたな)から手(て)洗(あら)
    My hands are dirty so I will wash them.
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There are quite a few people that like anime and manga.
Hasegawa: "I have quite a few friends."
There are quite a few people who do not eat breakfast.
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