Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 2: 8/23

程(ほど)~ない
is not as…as, isn't... like..., not to the extent of...

Structure
Verb + ほど + Verb[ない](1)
Noun + ほど + Verb[ない](1)

(1) [い]Adjective[ない][な]Adjective + ではない[な]Adjective + じゃない
Details
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使用域 一般
Information
Another expression that uses the 名詞(めいし) (noun) ほど ‘an extent’ in Japanese, is ほど~ない. In the (A) part of a sentence, an extent will be highlighted, before the (B) part of the sentence will use ない to negate that extent, saying that it has not been reached. This phrase can be translated as ‘it isn’t like (A)’, ‘it’s not to the point of (A)’. Literally it means ‘if (A) is the extent, then (B) is not true’.
ほど will regularly be used after a verb or noun, while ない is more likely to be used after a verb, い-Adjective, or な-Adjective (as it is describing something about ほど).
  • 今日(きょう)は思(おも)ったほど暑(あつ)くなかった
    Today wasn't as hot as I expected.
  • 悩(なや)むほど事(こと)じゃない
    It is nothing to worry about so much. (This is not as serious as you think it is)
  • 自転車(じてんしゃ)は車(くるま)程(ほど)早(はや)くないけど、健康(けんこう)にいいから自転車(じてんしゃ)会社(かいしゃ)行っ(い)ています
    Bicycles aren't as fast as cars, but it is good for my health, so I ride my bike to work.
  • この世(よ)にこのカレーほど辛(から)い食(た)べ物(もの)はない
    There is no food as spicy as this curry in the world.
While this grammar point may be used for expressing that an extent has not been reached, it is also frequently used for making comparisons between two things. In these cases, it states that ‘the example/limit of (A) is something that cannot be reached/repeated by (B)’. This is similar to ‘(B) is not as ~ as (A)’ in English.
  • お母(かあ)さんほどケーキ作(づく)り上手(じょうず)な人(ひと)はどこにもない
    There is no one in this world that is as good as my mom at baking cakes.
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電車(でんしゃ)飛行機(ひこうき)ほど速(はや)くないけど、電車(でんしゃ)ほど安(やす)い乗(の)り物(もの)はない
Trains are not as fast as planes, but there isn't anything like a train when it comes to cheap transportation.
First part is the "comparison use", the second is "the best" use.
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君(きみ)の母(はは)ほど優(やさ)しい人(ひと)はいない
There isn't anyone as nice as your mom.
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東京(とうきょう)ほど人口(じんこう)多(おお)い都会(とかい)がないと思(おも)う。
I think that there isn't another city with a large population like Tokyo's.
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Books
Tobira
Page 236
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 255