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僕は日本一と言ってもいいくらいの真面目な優等生だよ

I'm trying to understand

  1. What いいくらい ("approximately good"?) is doing in the sentence.
  2. Whether の is acting as a nominalizer of いいくらい or as a possessive particle.

My current translation attempt is

As for me, they'll even (も) say I'm Japan's best <いいくらい>...am a serious honor roll student.

I'm tempted to translate it as

As for me, they'll even (も) say I'm Japan's best and most serious honor roll student.

but this is (i) ignoring いいくらい and (ii) treating の as a possessive particle (which doesn't make sense since 日本一と言っても isn't a noun on the left side of の).

1 Answer 1

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  1. You are parsing the sentence in the wrong way. The いい part belongs to 言っても. 日本一と言ってもいい here means "be able to be called the number one in Japan."

  2. の is a possessive particle. 日本一と言ってもいいくらい modifies 真面目な優等生. Also, くらい doesn't mean "approximately" but means "to the extent." In this sense, you can replace くらい with ほど if you prefer.

To summarize,

僕は日本一と言ってもいいくらいの真面目な優等生だよ

I am a serious top student, top enough to be called the number one in Japan.

2
  • Thanks! If の is the possesive particle here, shouldn't there be another の to nominalize 日本一と言ってもいいくらい (since this phrase isn't a noun, and AのB requires both A and B to be nouns)? The pattern would be (<relative clause>の)の(<noun>). EDIT: I just realized the particle ~くらい itself could turn relative clauses into noun phrases. I guess that's what's going on here?
    – George
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 19:37
  • 1
    Sorry I am not knowledgeable on nitty-gritty details about grammar but I think the role of くらい can vary depending on how it is used in a sentence. In this case, くらい clearly acts as a noun.
    – Jimmy Yang
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 19:46

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