Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 7: 13/21

(かぎ)

Nothing better than, There's nothing like, Limited to

Structure

Verb[る](1) + (かぎ)
Noun + (かぎ)

(1) Verb[ない]

Details

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    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About に限る

(かぎ)る is a combination of the case marking particle (marking a location), and the う - Verb (かぎ)る 'to limit'. This expression can be translated as 'there's nothing better than (A)', or 'there's nothing like (A)'.
(かぎ)る may be paired with verbs in their base form, or with nouns.
  • (あつ)()(つめ)たいシャワー()びる(かぎ)
    There is nothing better than taking a cold shower on a hot day.
  • 回転(かいてん)寿司(すし)はくら寿司(ずし)(かぎ)
    There is nothing better than Kurazushi when it comes to kaiten-sushi.
(かぎ)る may also appear with verbs that have been negated with the auxiliary verb ない. Care will need to be taken with translating these sentences, as they will express that 'there is nothing better than -not- doing (A)'.
  • (さむ)()(あたた)かい部屋(へや)()ない(かぎ)
    There is nothing better to do than not leaving your warm room on a cold day.
  • (やす)()仕事(しごと)しない(かぎ)
    There is nothing better than doing no work on a day off.
Fun Fact
The literal meaning of (かぎ)る is (さかい)()ける 'to set a boundary'. This means that marks the location (or situation), within which the speaker then states as being 'the boundary'. Because of this, 'to be bound to', or 'to be limited to', are also possible translations of に(かぎ)る.
  • (あつ)()はアイスクリーム()べる(かぎ)
    I am bound to eat ice cream on a hot day.
  • この施設(しせつ)利用(りよう)できるこのアパート住民(じゅうみん)(かぎ)
    Using this facility is limited to those who live in this apartment complex.

Examples

  • ダイエットをしたいなら、運動(うんどう)する(かぎ)

    There is nothing better than exercise when it comes to losing weight.

  • アルバイト募集(ぼしゅう)(ちゅう)。ただし、英語(えいご)ができる(ひと)(かぎ)

    They are hiring. However, the position is only limited to people who can speak English.

  • 家具(かぐ)()なら、この(みせ)(かぎ)

    If you are going to buy furniture, there is nowhere better than this place.

  • やっぱり秋刀魚(さんま)目黒(めぐろ)(かぎ)

    There is nothing like Samma (fish) from Meguro.

    A punchline from a Rakugo joke → 落語のオチ.

  • 仕事(しごと)(あと)ジュース(かぎ)

    There is nothing better than a juice after work.

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に限る – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (8 in total)

  • shootoff

    shootoff

    About 1 year ago

    Hey, can someone explain the difference between に限る and one of the aspects of 何より? I can’t feel any difference there.
    Here are examples:

    例1: 夏はビールに限る。| 夏はビール何より。
    例2: 作文に上達するには日本語で日記を付けるに限る。| 作文に上達するには日本語で日記を付ける何よりです。

  • Fuga

    Fuga

    About 1 year ago

    Hey @shootoff ! に限るand 何より both have a similar translation, but the rules on how you can use them is different so they cannot be use interchangeably. You can end a sentence with に限る, but you cannot with 何より since they need to be followed by a phrase when you want to use it with the nuance of ’ best, above all else, more than anything’.

    For example, 夏はビール何より。would sound like ‘Beer in the summer more than anything else’ in English and it sounds as unnatural in Japanese as it does in English.
    If you wanted to say something like ‘there is nothing I like more than drinking beer in the summer’, you would have to change the Japanese to 夏にビールを飲むのが何より好きです。

    I hope that helps you understand the difference!

  • shootoff

    shootoff

    About 1 year ago

    It still seems a little bit strange.
    On Bunpro there is another IMO similar example for 何より:

    らくさん:「あなたにもらった本、わたしの息子がとても気に入っています。」
    おのでらさん:「それは何よりです。」

    In this sense, 何より means “be glad” and it doesn’t need 嬉しい or something like that.
    Intuitively it is clear, because 何より means “more than anything”, then there’s some shade of relief or assertion of the best way to do something.

    So, why do we need to clarify this expression with a verb or adjective? In Japanese, there are many expressions that seem pretty short, but they can be understood as well because the main point is context. Isn’t this one of them?

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