Grammar Info
N1 Lesson 10: 10/22

ては敵(かな)わない
It's unbearable when, It'd be unbearable if, I can't stand it when, I couldn’t stand it if

(A) にはかなわない is used when one is no match for (A)

Structure
Casual
Formal
Verb[られる][]+ては(1)かなわない
[い]Adjective[]+くては(1)かなわない
[な]Adjective+では(2)かなわない


(1) ちゃ
(2)じゃ
Verb[られる][]+ては(1)かないません
[い]Adjective[]+くては(1)かないません
[な]Adjective+では(2)かないません


(1) ちゃ
(2)じゃ
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Information
  • (A) てはかなわない is an old-fashioned expression used to indicate the displeasure of the speaker/writer with (A). こう and こんなに are often used when (A) is an adjective.
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こう寒(さむ)くてはかなわない
It's unbearable when it's cold like this.
It is possible to use てかなわない、as in 寒くてかなわない. The difference between them is like the difference between て (It's unbearable because it is cold) and ては (It's unbearable when it is cold like this). The て is not used with こう and こんなに as often as ては. The latter also has a stronger nuance of displeasure.
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雨(あめ)に降(ふ)られてはかなわない
I can't stand getting rained on.
てかなわない is in general NOT used with verbs, but as an example, if we used it here the difference would be: て (It is unbearable as it rains (now)) ては (It's unbearable if it rains)
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上(うえ)部屋(へや)人(ひと)がうるさくてはかなわない
It's unbearable when the people upstairs are noisy.
In this case てかなわない would mean that the person above is noisy right now, while てはかなわない would be more general, "If the person above is noisy, it is unbearable."
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Sou Matome Bunpou N1
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