For example, 食べ過ぎる and 寝過ごす: if I say 食べ過ごす and 寝過ぎる instead, is it the same thing?

I already know 寝過ごす is a transitive verb and I think 寝過ぎる is not and I don't even know if 食べ過ごす is right. However, they're just examples and I want to know what to do with the rest of the verbs.

1 Answer 1


At least as a suffixing verb in the present-day language, ~過ごす no longer has any "over-" meaning as ~過ぎる does, so the two are totally distinct grammars.

V 過ごす only means "V to miss something" or "V to dispense with something", thus:

  • 寝過ぎる means you sleep too much (that causes headache, maybe), but;
  • 寝過ごす means you sleep until it is too late, e.g. missed the station or school

  • やり過ぎる means you overdo, but;
  • やり過ごす means you do without dealing with something, that is, let go (past) or avert

  • 見過ぎる means you over-look, or overdo looking/watching, but;
  • 見過ごす means you overlook, in the sense failing to notice

Similarly, 食べ過ぎる is just "eating too much", but I have never heard of 食べ過ごす as a single verb, except for a collocation of 食べ + 過ごす "to pass time eating —".

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