Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 10: 2/21


Can't help but want to, Very, Extremely


Can't help but want to...
Verb[たい][て] + たまらない

[い]Adjective[て]+ たまらない
[な]Adjective + + たまらない


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About てたまらない

てたまらない is made up of the conjunction particle て, and the negated form of the う-Verb (たま)る meaning 'to bear', 'to endure', or 'to tolerate'. Common translations include 'to not be able to help wanting to (A)', or 'extremely (A)'.
The primary difference between both meanings is that the 'can't help but want to (A)' nuance is seen attached to verbs conjugated with たい, while the 'extremely (A)' nuance is seen conjugated with both い and な-Adjectives. In both of these situations, the more literal interpretation is 'to be unbearably (A)'.
  • 来月(らいげつ)公開(こうかい)される映画(えいが)()たくてたまらない
    I can't help but want to watch the movie that is going to be released next month.
  • 昨日(きのう)は3時間(じかん)しか()てないから、(ねむ)たくてたまらない
    I only slept for 3 hours last night, so I'm extremely sleepy.
  • (むすめ)をお使(つか)いに()かせたが、ちゃんと一人(ひとり)()って(かえ)ってこれるかが心配(しんぱい)でたまらない
    I sent my daughter on an errand, but I'm extremely worried about whether she would be able to go and come back by herself.
As always, で will replace て when な-Adjectives are used.





    Because I did a lot of work today, I am extremely tired. (I can't help but feel tired)


    What I don't like about natto is that it smells very bad. (I can't stand it)


    It is extremely hot. So, I turned on the air conditioner. (I can't stand it・I can't help but be hot)


    I am extremely worried about my own kids.


    I can't help but want to see that chorus group's concert.

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