How to use すぎる ( = sugiru)

「私には大きすぎるよ。」

= Watashi ni wa ookisugiru yo.

= These are too big for me.

Hi everyone!

This year I will be updating and releasing improved versions of my mini-lessons.

Today will be the first those: the lesson on how to use ~すぎる ( = sugiru)!

the verb: 過ぎる = すぎる = sugiru = to pass by, to go beyond

By attaching an adverb / verb or noun, you can express something is too ~ , overly ~, to be ~ excessively

Note: Though すぎる ( = sugiru) has kanji, 過ぎる, I will use hiragana in this lesson so that it will be easier to read.

A lot of writers / official writing tend to use hiragana as well.

★ adjectiveすぎる ( = sugiru)

 :ii: How to form:

⭐ i-adjective

Ex. 大きい = おおきい = ookii

1)  delete   ( = i): 大き = おおき = ooki

2)  add すぎる (  = sugiru)

大きすぎる = おおきすぎる = ooki sugiru

Note: 

* よい ( = yoi) / いい ( = ii) good

よすぎる ( = yosugiru) too good 

濃い = こい ( = koi) dark, strong (tea/coffee/alcohol )

濃すぎる = こすぎる ( = kosugiru) too dark/too strong

 na-adjective

Ex. 静かな = しずかな = shizukana = quiet

静か = しずか = shizuka

1) add すぎる (  = sugiru)

→ 静かすぎる = しずかすぎる = shizuka sugiru = too quite

past tense: + すぎた ( = sugita) /  すぎました ( = sugimashita)

If you want to say “Something is too ~ for someone” you say

someone + には ( = niwa)  (for someone) + ~  すぎる ( = sugiru) / すぎます ( = sugimasu) too ~

 :pinkcandy2: From the picture above:

「私には大きすぎるよ。」

= Watashi ni wa ookisugiru yo.

= These are too big for me.

Ex. この本は私には難しすぎた

= Kono hon wa watashi niwa muzukashisugita.

= This book was too difficult for me.

Ex. この服は、私には可愛すぎる

= Kono fuku wa, watashi niwa kawaisugiru.

= These clothes are way too cute for me.

Ex. ここのラーメンは妹には多すぎたみたいだ。

= Kokono raamen wa imouto niwa oosugita mitai da.

= It seems like the ramen dishes in this place are too big for my little sister.

When you modify a noun.

Ex. 母には派手すぎるスカート。

= Haha niwa hade sugiru sukaato.

= The skirt which is too flashy for my mother.

When it is obvious who you are talking about or general speech, you omit a pronoun + には ( = niwa)

Ex. 字が小さすぎるのでもっと大きくして欲しい。

= Ji ga chiisasugiru no de motto ookiku shite hoshii.

= The texts are too small so I want them to be bigger.

Ex. この口紅は、赤すぎる

= Kono kuchibeni wa, akasugiru.

= The lipstick is too red (for me).

Ex. 部屋がきたなすぎるから片付けようかな。

= Heya ga kitana sugiru kara katazukeyou kana.

= I guess I have to clean up my room because it is too messy.

Ex. 性格が細かすぎるとストレスがたまりやすい。

= Seikaku ga komakasugiru to sutoresu ga tamariyasui.

= If you are too meticulous, you’ll get stressed out easily.

Ex. 髪の毛が長すぎるからちょっと切ったら?

= Kaminoke ga nagasugiru kara chotto kittara?

= Your hair is getting too long. Why don’t you get your hair cut?

You can use すぎる ( = sugiru) in a positive way, too.

It adds the meaning  of “very” “extremely”.

Ex. わ~すごすぎる(conversational)

= Wah, sugosugiru!

= Wow! This is GREAT!

Ex.  一年に2回もパリに行けるなんてうらやましすぎる

= Ichinen ni nikai mo pari ni ikeru nannte urayamashisugiru!

= I can’t believe you get to go to Paris twice a  year! I’m so jealous! 

Ex. 彼はかっこよすぎる

= Kare wa kakoyosugiru.

= He is way too cute/cool !

★ verbすぎる ( = sugiru): to do something too much, excessively, to overdo something

 :ii: How to form:

作る = つくる = tsukuru = to make

1) make a masu form

作ります = つくります = tsukurimasu

2) delete ます (= masu) and make a masu-stem

作り = つくり = tsukuri

3) add すぎる  ( = sugiru)

作りすぎる = つくりすぎる = tsukuri sugiru = to  make something too much

past tense: + すぎた ( = sugita) /  すぎました ( = sugimashita)

Ex. クッキーを作りすぎた

= Kukii wo tsukuri sugita.

= I made too many cookies.

Ex. 彼女との付き合いが長くなりすぎた

= Kanojo to no tsukiai ga nagaku narisugita.

= I have been going out with her too long.

Ex. 昨日は飲みすぎて頭が痛い。

= Kinou wa nomisugite atama ga itai.

= I have a headache because I drank too much yesterday.

Ex. 塩を入れすぎた

= Shio wo iresugita.

= I put in too much salt.

Ex.敬語を使いすぎるとよそよそしく聞こえるかもしれない。

= Keigo wo tsukai sugiru to yosoyososhiku kikoeru kamo shirenai.

= If you use too much polite language, you may sound too aloof.

Ex. 少し、言いすぎました

= Sukoshi, iisugimashita.

= I was way out of line. [Literally: I said a little too much.]

Note: すぎる = sugiru = is to do something too much and 少し ( = sukoshi) means a little but

you actually use them together.  少しすぎた = sukoshi ~ sugita. = did something a little too much.

****

* verb ない/ 無い ( = nai )  nonexistent (There is no ~ )/ not to have  ~

When you don’ have something/there isn’t something in an extreme level, you say 

 :rrrr: なさすぎる ( = nasasugiru) : too little/too few ~

*  やる気がない

= Yaru ki ga nai

= not to be motivated

やる気がなすぎる

= Yaruki ga nasasugiru.

= not feeling like doing at all / not to be very motivated 

Ex. 試験の直前なのにやる気がなすぎる

= Shiken no chokuzen nanoni yaruki ga nasasugiru.

= Although it’s right before the exam, I lack motivation.

意気地がない ( = ikuji ga nai)  to have no guts

意気地がなすぎる ( = ikuji ga nasa sugiru)  to have too little guts

Ex. 彼女に好きだと言えないなんて意気地がなすぎるよ。

= Kanojo ni suki dato ienai nannte ikuji ga nasasugiru yo.

= You can’t tell her how you feel about her? You are coward! (←You don’t have the guts.)

* adjective negative form

 :rrrr: i-adjective negative form  (〜く)ない = (~ ku)  nai/ na-adjective  (では・じゃ)ない = ( dewa・ja) nai

 :rrrr: Change ない ( = nai)  to → すぎる ( = nasa sugiru) adding さ ( = sa)

Ex. この映画は、面白すぎる

= Kono eiga wa omoshiro sugiru

= This movie is too good.

If the movie is too boring, you can say

→ Ex. この映画は面白くなすぎる

= Kono eiga wa omoshiroku nasasugiru.

= This movie is too boring.

*****

Now this next part may confusing, but don’t feel bad. Many native speakers also get confused. !sleepy! 

Affirmative adjectives which end with ない ( = nai)

1)  Some adjectives end with  ない ( = nai) and express the existence of what comes before.  →(There is no ~)   

 :rrrr: change ない ( = nai) →すぎる ( = nasasugiru)

もったいない ( = mottainai) wasteful

(Original meaning of 勿体 = もったい = mottai is dignity, what things should be

もったいなすぎる  ( = mottai nasasugiru) too wasteful, too good

Ex. 彼女は、僕にはもったいなすぎる

= Kanojo wa boku niwa mottai nasasugiru.

= She is too good for me.

だらしない ( = darashi nai) sloppy

(←Originally だらしない ( = darashi ga nai))

だらしなすぎる ( = darashi nasasugiru) too sloppy

頼りない ( = tayori nai) unreliable, undependable 

 (←Originally 頼りない = tayori ga nai)

頼りなすぎる ( = tayori (ga) nasasugiru)  too unreliable, too undependable

Ex. 彼は頼りなすぎる

= Kare wa tayori nasasugiru.

= He is too undependable.

2) Some adjectives end with ない ( = nai)  but they are not negative form. They simply end with ない ( = nai) 

 :rrrr: change ない ( = nai) →すぎる ( = nasugiru)

ない = すくない = sukunai  = a little, a few

→ 少なすぎる = すくなすぎる = sukuna sugiru  = too little / too few / not enough

汚い = きたない= kitanai = dirty

汚すぎる = きたなすぎる = kitanasugiru = too dirty

Ex. 部屋が汚すぎる

= Heya ga kitana sugiru.

= The room is too dirty/ messy.

*ない = あぶない = abunai = dangerous

危なすぎるあぶなすぎる = abunasugiru

Ex. 一人で子供を買い物に出すなんてまだ危なすぎる

= Hitori de kodomo wo kaimononi dasu nante mada abuna sugiru.

= Sending a child shopping by themselves is still too dangerous.

つまらない ( = tsumaranai) boring

(originally the verb 詰まる つまる = tsumaru)

 つまらなすぎる

= tsumaranasugiru

= Too boring

* verb negative form:

* Vない ( = nai)  →Vすぎる ( = na sugiru)  or  * Vすぎる ( = nasa sugiru) )

This ない ( = nai) an auxiliary verb

Basically you change Vない ( = nai) to  Vすぎる ( = na sugiru).

However  Vすぎる ( = nasasugiru) is getting more acceptable in daily conversation.

知らない = しらない ( = shiranai) not to know

知らなすぎる = しらなすぎる ( = shiranasugiru) 

△ 知らなすぎる  = しらなさすぎる ( = shiranasa sugiru)

Ex. 親は子供のことを知らなすぎる

= Oya wa kodomo no koto wo shiranasugiru.

= Parents know too little about their children.

* 言わなすぎる = iwana sugiru 

△ 言わなすぎる = iwanasa sugiru

Ex. 娘は、自分のことを言わなすぎる

= Musume wa, jibun no koto wo iwana sugiru.

= My daughter doesn’t talk much about herself.

聞かなすぎる = kikana sugiru   

△ 聞かなすぎる = kikanasa sugiru

Ex. 生徒は先生の言うことを聞かなすぎる

= Seito wa sensei no iu koto wo kikanasugiru.

= The students don’t pay enough attention to what the teacher is saying.

Though you are supposed to say Vなすぎる ( = na sugiru) , the following short verbs may sound more common or natural with   ( = sa) in conversation.  It could be because it is easier to pronounce that way. 

しない  ( = shinai) not to do

 :rrrr: しなすぎる ( = shinasugiru) 

 :rrrr: しなすぎる ( = shinasasugiru) not to do something in an extreme way

Ex. 息子は勉強をしなすぎる

= Musuko wa benkyou wo shinasasugiru.

= It is horrible that my son doesn’t study at all.

見ない = みない ( = minai) not to see, look

 :rrrr: 見なすぎる = みなすぎる (  = minasugiru)

 :rrrr: 見なすぎる = みなすぎる ( = minasasgiru )  not to see/look in an extreme way

* 来ない = こない ( = konai) not to come

 :rrrr: 来なすぎる= こなすぎる= konasugiru

 :rrrr: 来なすぎるこなすぎる = konasasugiru= not to come in an extreme way

★  nounすぎる

It is not so common as adjectives or verbs but you can use すぎる ( = sugiru) with a noun when the noun represents certain quality.

Ex. 言っていることが子供すぎるよ。

= Itte iru koto ga kodomo sugiriru yo.

= You sound too childish.

(You can also say 子供っぽい = kodomoppoi = childish子供っぽすぎる = kodomoppo sugiru)

Ex. 娘の学校の父兄は皆、お金持ちすぎる

= Musume no gakkou no fukei wa, mina, okanemochi sugiru.

= The parents in my daughter’s school are all way too rich.

Ex. 彼は、いい人すぎる

= Kare wa, ii hito sugiru.

= He is way too nice.

The translation doesn’t have a word “a person” but いい ( = ii) modifies a noun  ( = hito)  and すぎる modifies いい人 ( = ii hito) a nice person.

Ex. 天使すぎる歌声 (colloquial)

= tenshi sugiru utagoe

= angelic singing voice

Note: 天使 ( = tenshi) means “angel”. “too angel” doesn’t make a sense but it is used when you describe someone/something is extremely lovely

If someone uses すぎる ( = sugiru), you can guess what kind of image they have.

For example,

Ex. 美人すぎる政治家

= bijin sugiru seijika

= way too beautiful as a politician.

The writer/speaker thinks the politician and being beautiful somehow don’t match.

You can’t just use this form with any noun.

For example

Ex. すぎる  ( = inu sugiriru = too much dog???)

just doesn’t make any sense.

***

* a noun form: ~すぎる ( = sugiru)  to do something too much

→~すぎ ( = sugi) doing something too much

* すぎる = takasugiru = too expensive

すぎ = takasugi

Ex. このセーターは高すぎる

= Kono seetaa wa takasugiru.

= This sweater is too expensive.

このセーターは高すぎ

= Kono seetaa wa takasugi da.

= This sweater is too expensive.

すごすぎる = sugosugiru = super great

すごすぎ = sugosugi 

Ex. 彼の歌はすごすぎる

= Kare no uta wa sugosugiru.

= His song is great./ His songs are great.

彼の歌、すごすぎ(more conversational)

= Kare no uta, sugosugi!

His song is great./ His songs are great.

かわいすぎる = kawaisugiru

かわいすぎ = kawaisugi

Ex. かわいすぎ(colloquial)

= Kawai sugi!

= Too cute!

行きすぎる = ikisugiru

いきすぎ = ikisugi or ゆきぎ = yukisugi

Ex. うちの学校の規則は 行きすぎだと思う。

= Uchi no gakkou no kisoku wa ikisugi dato omou.

= I think my school’s regulations go too far.

Ex. A:「彼はもう私のことなんか好きじゃないのかも。」

= Kare wa watashi no koto nanka sukijanai no kamo.

I think he doesn’t like me anymore.

B:「考えすぎだよ。」

= Kangae sugi dayo.

You are thinking way too much.

Ex. C:「働きすぎると体に悪いよ。」

= Hataraki sugiru to karada ni warui yo.

It is not good for your health  if you work too much.

D:「心配しすぎじゃない?

= Shinpai shisugijanai?

You worry too much.

***

マギー先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

私の足が小さすぎるのか、クロックスが大きすぎるのかどっちだと思う?

= Watashi no ashi ga chiisasugiru no ka, kurokkusu ga ooki sugiru no ka docchi dato omou?

= Do you think my feet are too small or these crocks are too big?

****

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18 Comments

  1. Hi Maggie Sensei!

    i am confusing about the difference of “sugiru” and “sugi”. I think there is no difference in your example. Please explain me more :)

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Lau,

      1) 高すぎる
      2) 高すぎだ
      The meaning is the same. Just the form is different.

      V+ すぎる・すぎた
      Noun form (V+ すぎ) + だ・です・だった・でした
      考えすぎた  
      考えすぎだった

      食べすぎる
      食べすぎだ

      The meaning/the translation are the same but you use the noun-form to describe the state and you use V-すぎる when you focus on the action.

      There are certain expression that may sound unnatural with one of the forms but all my example sentences with すぎ are interchangeable.

      1. Hmmm, that’s interesting. Maggie, could you provide us please a few examples when it would sound unnatural to get the general idea?

        1. @天人

          For example, when you talk about your own action in past,

          ついつい飲みすぎた / 昨日や飲みすぎた (natural)
          ついつい飲みすぎだ / ついつい飲みすぎだった / 昨日は飲みすぎでした。(unnatural)

          Now when you talk about one’s habitual action or current action,

          * When you talk about someone else.
          いつも飲みすぎだよ。 (OK)
          今日は飲みすぎてるよ。(OK)

          * When you talk about yourself
          うれしいことがあると飲みすぎる。
          うれしいことがあると飲みすぎです。(unnatural)

  2. Your lessons are amazing, probably the best free resource that exists. Next I get paid I will definitely begin joining your patreon. Have you ever considered putting all your lessons into a book?
    I know a lot of people will just study on their phones, but I own many books for studying Japanese and not many reach this level of detail and example and it’s always nice to have a physical copy you can look at outside or anywhere, planes and such. I think it would sell exceptionally well.
    My weakest point is making my own sentences despite being able to play games, watch Japanese let’s players on Youtube, and read a lot of things in Japanese. It’s very frustrating and makes me feel mute haha. Though each time I read one of your lessons, I definitely see an improvement, and especially with my listening skills since most books don’t cover casual or conversational speech.

    だから、お疲れ様です!本当にありがとうございます、次の課を待ち望んでいる。

    1. Dear K,

      Thank you so much for your nice comment! Your message motivated me to make more and more lessons!
      You are like me. I prefer paper books as well. :)
      Actually I have been working on my e-book but all my lessons are really long so I got stuck with the size problem.
      でもがんばってみますね!Kも日本語がんばって! わからないことがあったらいつでも相談してください。
      次のレッスンもうすぐアップできます。もう少し待ってくださいね。

      1. 笑、そうですね。
        日々パソコンと携帯電話で日本語を勉強している、こんなことは目によくないですね。
        だから、パソコンというより本が好きだ。
        頑張ります!マギー先生、ありがとう!(:楽しみにしているね。

  3. こんにちわ Maggie先生.

    I have problems with かもしれます. Can you tell me how to use it?
    Also, I’ve seen it like のかもしれません but I don’t know why would be the NO particle there.

    1. こんにちは、Celcilia

      might/ may / it is possible ~ in Japanese is
      V / noun / adjective かも~しれない 
      I might go = 行くかもしれない = Iku kamo shirenai
      It might be big = 大きいかもしれない = ookii kamo shirenai
      It might be a dog = 犬かもしれない= Inu kamo shirenai

      this しれない doesn’t have a negative meaning.

      You sometimes use ~ない in an affirmative meaning.
      Do you want to eat? = 食べない? = Tabenai ?
      Do you want to go there with me? = 一緒にそこに行かない? = Issho ni soko ni ikanai?

      1. Hi Maggie Sensei,

        What I find strange with ~かもしれない is we were taught:

        ~でしょう/だろう is used to say something is likely or probably the case
        あの人は日本人でしょう – that person is probably Japanese

        ~かもしれません/かもしれない is used when you are less certain, like there is (almost) no way of knowing
        あの人は日本人かもしれません – that person may be Japanese

        So I find it strange that you use ~かもしれない with regards to something you yourself are thinking of doing, because surely you should be more sure about what you are going to do! That’s just my thought :)

        1. Hi Cindy
          You can think かもしれない as “might” in that case.
          まだ使うかもしれないからとっておこう。 I am going to keep it because I still might use it in future.
          日本に行くかもしれない I might go to Japan.

          It is not certain but there is a possibility that you might do something.

  4. This was so helpful! I learnt so much and understand this verb way better now. Thank you!! (I noticed one typo in the romaji: “→濃すぎる = こすぎる ( = yosugiru) too good ” – should that be kosugiru?)

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