2005
10.10

Almost All

One common mistake Japanese people make when speaking English is with ‘almost all’. For example, I often hear things like, ‘Almost students study very hard.’

I think it comes from the Japanese word だいたい, which has a slightly different usage – or perhaps because it only requires one word. In English we can use ‘most’ instead, which might be of more use for Japanese people.

I also get confused with this sometimes when speaking Japanese. Just yesterday I had a conversation about this with my language exchange partner. I asked:

みんなだいたいテニスが好きって正しい日本語?

My language exchange partner said that the だいたい appears to be modifying 好き and not みんな, although people would understand my meaning. So she said that following might be a little clearer:

だいたいみんなテニスが好き。

Or to avoid confusion:

みんなほとんどテニスが好き。



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