2005
06.09

Less than

There appear to be subtle differences in 未満(みまん) and 以内(いない) which I was unaware of (all credit to my calligraphy teacher for pointing this out). 5万円未満 means less than 50,000 yen while 5万円以内 means 50,000 yen or less. Right?

How about 以下(いか)?Like 以内, I would guess.



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  1. Darren, you’re right. 以下 and 以内 (and 以上 too) include the value being referred to, whereas in the case of 未満 the value itself is excluded. A common use of the 未満・以上 combination is to express range tiers e.g.
    千円未満
    千円以上・五千円未満
    五千円以上・一万円未満 etc.
    This way there is no overlap between ranges.

  2. Charmaine, thanks for the confirmation. This is something that I didn’t realise on first learning these terms.

  3. Darren – you’re welcome. Actually I didn’t realize it either when I first came across those words. One time at work though, we had to be very specific about whether a cutoff point was included or excluded, and my manager pointed it out. I haven’t quite figured out the opposite of 未満 though – over a certain value but not including it. Any idea?

  4. Charmaine, you are one of my Japanese gurus. Do you expect me to know something you don’t?! Sorry… but maybe I could ask someone and get back to you.

  5. [My friend Jun kindly replies:]
    “Miman;未満” means “less than but not including X”
    “Inai;以内” means “less than including X”
    “Ijyou;以上”means “greater than, includes X”
    Your question…….good question. Well, there is no specific word like “ijyou” that does not include the value.(Ah, there is. “Choka;超過” Choka does not include the value.)
    But we use “Yori;より”for that meaning more frequently/many occations. For instance, “Sore wa 100yen YORI takai.(more expensive) ”
    But you can also use this phrase like this. Sore wa 100yen YORI
    yasui.(cheaper).
    we don’t say “Sore wa 100yen choka”
    If you wanna use “Choka”, you can say “Sore wa 100 yen wo choka suru”.

  6. より works. Thanks Darren and Jun!

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