〜くせに ( = ~ kuseni)

kuseni

「この車、ナビついてないの?」

=Kono kuruma navi tsuite naino?

= This car doesn’t have a navigation system?

「免許持ってないくせに!」

= 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:

Ex.お金持ちのくせにけちけちしないで!

= Okanemochi no kuse ni kechikechi shinaide!

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

Ex.大きい会社のくせに設備が整っていない。

= 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.

Ex.
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!

Ex.

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.

Ex.

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.

Ex.

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)

:u:

朝、たくさん食べたのにもうお腹がすいた。

= Asa takusan tabeta noni mou onaka ga suita.

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

今から、「薔薇」という漢字を書く練習をしてきます!じゃあね!

= 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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28 Comments

  1. Hello Maggie Sensei,

    My name is Luis I am from Barcelona Spain and I am living in Japan for more tan 4 years.

    I am using your website for learning japanesse from a long time and I think that really is one of the best someone can use for do that.

    Instead of this i had never before make you a question basicly because i am unable for learnt japaness.

    But at least I must to do..for this reason I send you the first one.

    In the sentence

    できないくせにできるなんていわないほうがいいよ。

    If I traslate kuseni as instead of i can’t understeand at all.

    Because it will be something like

    “Instead of you can’t do something ,will be better don’t say that you can do it.

    Could you tell me if i am wrong in this case traslating kuseni as instead of.

    Thanks in advance for your help

    1. Hola, Luis,

      Moltes gràcies pel teu comentari!

      “Instead of” → You mean “in spite of”? (Instead of in Japanese is 代わりに)

      できないくせにできるなんていわないほうがいいよ。

      The literal translation is “Though you can’t do it” but in this case the most natural translation is
      If you can’t do something, you shouldn’t say you can do it.

      1. Yes is in spite of.

        Thanks for your answer..

        You have a perfect catalán ..bikkuri shita.

        To confirm i have understeand If we consider it lterally who are talking thinks that the other one can’t do this.

        ¿ that’s right?

  2. Hi Maggie sensei,

    I have a question about this sentence.
    今から、「薔薇」という漢字を書く練習をしてきます!じゃあね!

    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.

  3. Hi Maggie-sensei,

    I found this example sentence interesting.
    彼は、私の気持を知っているくせに無視をする。

    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.

  4. Hajimemashite.
    Konnichiwa, Maggie Sensei.

    Sumimasen kedo,
    [医者でもないくせに]

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

  5. 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”

  6. 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
      自分も食べてるくせに。
      or
      あなたも食べてるくせに。

      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
      私も一生懸命がんばっています。
      = 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.

  7. 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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