Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 1: 16/23

全(まった)く~ない
not~at all

Structure
まったく + Phrase[ない]
Details
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Information
全く~ない is an expression that combines the 副詞(ふくし) (adverb) 全(まった)く, with a phrase that uses another word in its ない form. It is often translated as ‘not at all (A)’. Literally, it is closer to ‘completely not (A)’, or ‘entirely not (A)’, coming from the kanji 全(ぜん)’s meaning of ‘whole’.
Like many other adverbs, まったく may be used at the beginning of a sentence, or directly before the word that it is describing as being ‘not at all’ (A).
  • この子(こ)は全(まった)く吠(ほ)えないですよ。
    This dog does not bark at all. (子(こ) may sometimes be used about pets, if it is obvious what is being discussed)
  • あんた褒(ほ)められても全(まった)く嬉(うれ)しくない
    Even if I did get complimented by you, it wouldn’t make me happy at all.
  • 店員(てんいん)さんこの扇風機(せんぷうき)は静(しず)かですよ」って言(い)ったから買(か)ったのに、全(まった)く静(しず)かじゃない
    The shopkeeper said 'This fan is very quiet', so I bought it. However, it was not quiet at all.
  • 全(まった)く筋肉(きんにく)がないので私(わたし)だけでは持(も)てません
    I don't have any muscles at all, so I can't carry this by myself.
It is common to see this expression using both the kanji form, and plain hiragana form of 全(まった)く, so both should be learned early.
Caution
まったく is very similar to 全然(ぜんぜん), another grammar point that is used to highlight the complete lack of something. However, まったく tends to sound a little bit more serious, and is therefore more likely to be used in formal writing/situations. 全然(ぜんぜん) on the other hand is far more common in casual speech.
  • 全(まった)く分(わ)からないので、手伝(てつだ)ってください
    I don't understand at all, so please help me.
  • 全然(ぜんぜん)わからない。手伝(てつだ)って。
    I have no clue. Can you help me?
Slow Male
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彼(かれ)まったく勉強(べんきょう)ない
He does not study at all.
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まったく変化(へんか)がない
There is no change at all.
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まったく冒険(ぼうけん)する気(き)がない
I do not at all have the desire to go on an adventure.
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Books
Tobira
Page 261