Amari vs takusan

Dada_

Member
Hey there. I'm currently doing an audio course, and the following came up (I'm completely unsure about the spelling, since right now I've only doing speaking and listening):
Kyou wa shigoto ga takusan arimasu ka?
Iie, amari arimasen.
My question is: what's really the difference between takusan and amari? Both of them are used to say "a lot" here, right?
 
  • samanthalee

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    amari is always used in negative sentences. We can only say amari arimasen (not amari arimasu). On the other hand, takusan can be used for both positive and negative sentences. I'm not sure whether there's any difference between takusan arimasen and amari arimasen?
     

    Aoyama

    Senior Member
    français Clodoaldien
    I'm not sure whether there's any difference between takusan arimasen and amari arimasen
    That's also an interesting question.
    To me, there is a difference :
    takusan arimasen would mean : there isn't much
    amari arimasen would mean : there is very little, there is almost none (sukoshi shika nai, hotondo nai)
    so amari arimasen would/might imply that there is less than takusan arimasen .
    But then, only a matter of perception, maybe ...
     

    samanthalee

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    Hi Aoyama,
    Thanks for that confirmation. I thought so too, but I thought I'm being influenced by Mandarin into seeing differences when there is none. :p

    It's a little difficult to explain the difference using English. As I perceive it, "There isn't a lot" could mean either
    a) "It's not true that there is a lot, but it's not little either."
    or
    b) "There is actually very little".

    While both takusan arimasen and amari arimasen can be translated into "There isn't a lot", takusan arimasen would mean "It's not true that there is a lot" and amari arimasen would mean "There is actually very little".

    I'm repeating what Aoyama has written. But I thought it might be useful to explain it in another way to make the difference clearer. :)
     

    Aoyama

    Senior Member
    français Clodoaldien
    Hi Sam !
    While both takusan arimasen and amari arimasen can be translated into "There isn't a lot", takusan arimasen would mean "It's not true that there is a lot" and amari arimasen would mean "There is actually very little".
    That's basically what it is , though regarding takusan arimasen supposedly meaning "It's not true that there is a lot" , I think that implying "it's not true that there is a lot" is a bit "yari sugiru" ...
     
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