〜くせに ( = ~ kuseni)



=Kono kuruma navi tsuite naino?

= This car doesn’t have a navigation system?


= Menkyo motte nai kuseni!

= You don’t even have a driver’s license. (So you have no right to complain.)


Hi everybody,

I will teach you how to use くせに ( = 癖に = kuseni) today.  


準備はいい?(= Junbi wa ii?)  Ready?  !JYANE!

くせに means “although” / “despite” / ” even though” / “even if”.

We use くせに when we accuse / tease/ criticize someone.

It shows speaker’s contempt, dissatisfaction.

It is similar to のに ( = noni)

!to right! In case you haven’t seen my   のに ( = noni) lesson, please go check it later.

Compare to のに(=noni), くせに(=kuseni) is more negative, stronger and judgmental.

Though it is not a bad word and you hear it often in conversation, you should be careful who you use it with and when to use it.

For example, if you say,

:s: 犬なのに日本語を教えるの?

= Inu nanoni nihongo wo oshieruno?

= Do you teach Japanese despite being just a dog?

I know I get a bit hurt but It is acceptable. However, if you say

:ii: 犬のくせに日本語を教えるの?

= Inu no kuse ni nihongo wo oshieru no?

Do you teach Japanese despite being a dog?
 (You are just a dog and you are telling me that you teach Japanese?)

It sounds very condescending and looking down on me. If you say that,  I might bite you!

Grrrrr  :-x

You can also use くせして=  癖して( = kuseshite) instead of くせに 癖に ( = kuseni). But today I will just focus on くせに ( = kuseni)

:mm: How to form :

!star! noun + ( = no) +くせに( = kuseni)

男のくせに = otoko no kuseni = even though you are a man, for a man, as a man, despite being a man,

Ex. 彼は男のくせに甘いものが好きだ。

= Kare wa otoko no kuse ni amaimono ga sukida.

= For a man, he likes sweets.

Note : This sentence implies “Men shouldn’t/don’t eat sweets because sweets are for women.”

Ex. あの子は、子供のくせに大人びた話し方をする。

= Anoko wa kodomo no kuse ni otonabita hanashikata wo suru.

= He(she) talks like an adult although he(she) is a mere child.

Ex. マギー先生は、日本語の先生のくせに「薔薇」という漢字を書けないんですか?

= Maggie sensei wa nihongo no sensei no kuseni “bara” to iu kanji wo kakenain desu ka?

= Though you are a Japanese teacher, you can’t write the kanji “薔薇 = bara = rose(s)”, Maggie Sensei?

!to right! No I can’t!  And  so what?? :maggie-small:


= Okanemochi no kuse ni kechikechi shinaide!

= Don’t be stingy. I know you are rich!


= Ookii kaisha no kuse ni setubi ga totonotte inai.

= It is a big company but it is poorly equipped.

Ex. 彼は、医者のくせに煙草を吸っている。

= Kare wa isha no kuse ni tabako wo sutte iru.

= He is a doctor but he smokes.

Negative form :

Ex. 医者でもないくせに。

= Isha demo nai kuseni.

= (You aren ‘t even a doctor (so don’t talk/act like a doctor, you have no right to do~))

= As if you were a doctor!


Note : We usually use this form when we refer to people (or animals), groups or entities.

We don’t say

:rrrr: X Ex. 12月のくせに暖かい。

= Juunigatsu no kuseni atatakai.

Instead, we use(な)のに ( = (na)noni)

Ex. 12月なのに暖かい。

= Juunigatsu nanoni atatakai.

= It is warm for December.

!star! i-adj form + くせに ( = kuseni)

大きいくせに= ookii kuseni = even though someone is big, despite the fact something is big

Ex. 彼は体が大きいくせに何もできない。

= Kare wa karada ga ookii kuse ni nani mo dekinai.

= Despite the fact he is big, he can’t do anything.

!star!na-adj な ( = na) form + くせに ( = kuseni)

下手くせに = hetana kuseni = Even though someone is bad at something

Ex. 彼は、歌が下手なくせに歌手になりたい。

= Kare wa utaga hetana kuse ni kashu ni naritai.

= Despite being  bad at singing,  he wants to be a singer.

!star!verb basic form + くせに ( = kuseni)

知っているくせに = shitteiru kuseni = even though someone knows, even if someone knows, although someone knows

Ex. 彼は、私の気持を知っているくせに無視をする。

= Kare wa watasih no kimochi wo shitte iru kuse ni mushi wo suru.

= Although he knows how I really feel about him, he ignores me.

A: 「彼、まだ日本語で100まで数えられないんだって。」

= Kare mada nihongo de hyaku made kazoerarenain datte.

= You know I heard he still can’t count up to one hundred in Japanese.

B: 「自分だって1年前は10までも数えられなかったくせに。」

= Jibun datte ichinen mae wa juumade mo kazoerarenakatta kuseni.

= You couldn’t even count up to ten a year ago either!


A: 「おやつばっかり食べると太るよ。」

= Oyatsu bakkari taberu to futoruyo.

= If you keep eating sweets, you will get fat.

B: 「自分だっていつも食べてるくせに!」

= Jibun datte itsumo tabeteru kuseni!

= You always eats sweets, too. (Look who’s talking!)

As I said, it often involves negative feelings, but we also use it when we tease someone.


A: 「もう、あんな人、大嫌い!」

= Mou anna hito daikirai!

= I hate that guy!

B: 「まだ好きなくせに

= Mada sukina kuseni.

= (You’re just saying that.) I know you still like him.


A: 「彼女はすぐにやきもちを焼くんだ。」
= Kanojo wa suguni yakimochi wo yakunda.
= She gets jealous so easily.

B :「嬉しいくせに!」
= Ureshii kuseni!
= I know you are happy about it.


Ex. 朝、たくさん食べたくせにもうお腹がすいたの?

= Asa takusan tabeta kuse ni mou onaka ga suita no?

= Even though you ate a lot this morning, are you already hungry?

Note :  You don’t usually useくせに ( = kuseni) when you are talking about yourself.

Ex. 朝、たくさん食べたくせにもうお腹がすいた。(not natural)

= Asa takusan tabeta kuse ni mou onaga suita.

= Although I ate a lot this morning, I am already hungry.

Instead, we use のに ( = noni)



= Asa takusan tabeta noni mou onaka ga suita.

maggie-senseiマギー先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei


= Ima kara “bara” toiu kanji wo kaku rennshu wo shitekimasu. Jaane!

= I go practice writing the kanji “薔薇 = ばら = bara= rose(s)” now. See you!


!to right! This lesson is translated in Spanish. Our wonderful friend, Orti, volunteered to translate along with a mini lesson on kuseni.

I posted on Facebook.

くせに( = kuseni) in Spanish  Click here

くせに( = kuseni) mini lesson in Spanish  Click here


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  1. Hi Maggie sensei,

    I have a question about this sentence.

    I don’t understand why 〜てきます is added to the sentence. I have read your lesson about 〜ていく+〜てくる.
    But why not just say 「薔薇」という漢字を書く練習をします? I don’t see how 〜てくる adds anything to it.

    Unless… I can only guess that you are implying “I will practice writing the kanji and then come back”?

    1. Hi Dennis,

      Of course you can say 書く練習をします。but what I meant was I will practice writing the kanji and will be back to this site.
      You often use that form when you talk to someone on blog, twitter, Facebook…etc.

  2. Hi Maggie-sensei,

    I found this example sentence interesting.

    At first I thought I understood it perfectly, but I really didn’t until I read your English translation. Then I got it.
    My translation before I read yours was “He knows how I am feeling (maybe sick/unhappy) but he ignores it”.

    I didn’t know it means “He knows how I feel ABOUT HIM, but he still ignores ME”

    There is nothing in the sentence that indicates this, so I find it interesting that a Japanese person would naturally understand it because that is their native language/culture/mindset.

    This is one of those things that I can only learn from coming across it in real life or your blog.

  3. Hajimemashite.
    Konnichiwa, Maggie Sensei.

    Sumimasen kedo,

    Woudln’t it translate to “You aren’t even a doctor.” as opposed to “You are even a doctor.” ?

  4. この文例を三回書いたくせに同じタイポを二回してしまった。レッスンの前にたらふく食べたほうがよかったね。 !rice!  !hamberger!  !greenapple!  !SUSHI!! !chocolate! :P

    “Asa takusan tabeta kuse ni mou onaga suita no?” x2 :rrrr: “onaka ga”

  5. Konbanwa maggie sensei..
    Thank you so much for putting a lot of effort on this website. Really luv it so much.
    I have a question, i’m not really clear about ‘jibun datte’ wording. This sentence,

    = Jibun datte itsumo tabeteru kuseni!

    = You always eats sweets, too. (Look who’s talking!)

    Can i change to ‘anata mo itsumo tabeteru kuseni’. Is this sentence correct? TQ ^ ^

    1. @Diladina

      Hello Diladina! Hajimemashite!
      自分だって(=jibun datte) + V

      This だって is to emphasize 自分 (in this case “you”= あなた(=anata)) and yes, you can say

      It means the same as も but compared to も, だって(=datte) is often used when you complain something.

      You can talk about yourself using だって
      = Watashi mo isshou kenmei ganbatte imasu.
      = I am also working hard.
      → 私だって一生懸命がんばっています。
      = Watashi datte isshoukenmei ganbatte imasu.

  6. Hello,

    I’ve started studying japanese last december, and I just found out about this website today. I have to say, I really loved your lessens sensei.

    Not only they’re easy to understand but we also get to laugh xD お世話になります!!

    1. @PukiPuki

      You can say 医者ではないくせに(=Isha de wa nai kuseni) /(more casual) 医者じゃないくせに(=isha ja nai kuseni) as well.
      ~でもない is “not even ~” and it sounds stronger.

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