Why is the first sentence unnatural when there is adversity in it?(because some washing machines can do more laundry but some laundry machines cannot do that much so it is adversity right?) when it comes to hardship it is kind the same right?(Washing clothes is hard - work). And also for the washing machine it is hardship because the machine needs to do the work.

  • In short: because the machine is not human, or even alive, we do not perceive that it suffers from being expected to wash more than it is capable of. Or, indeed, that it perceives such an expectation. Commented Apr 16 at 2:37
  • Machine or not machine is again just a rule of thumb. 自動車で砂漠を走りぬく is fine to me (and the subject in the sample sentences, the subject should be a person, strictly speaking).
    – sundowner
    Commented Apr 16 at 4:47
  • The following article contains some information. www2.ninjal.ac.jp/past-events/2009_2021/event/specialists/…
    – sundowner
    Commented Apr 18 at 9:10

2 Answers 2


Did you read this?

ぬく will almost always be used in relation to human actions.

A washing machine is not a human, and that's why you cannot use 洗い抜く in that example sentence. ぬく is an expression that represents long-standing effort and patience (of a human). They may put the laundry into the machine and push the start button, but that's neither hard nor time-consuming at all.

If you had to hand-wash hundreds of pieces of clothing for some reason and spent the entire day washing them all, it's possible to say 全部洗い抜いた as well as 全部洗い切った. The former may sound a little more dramatic.


some laundry machines cannot do that much so it is adversity right?

I suppose no, as for the intention of the explanation.

A large quantity can be a challenge, but what the explanation suggests is that when washing a single piece of cloth is easy enough, there is no "adversity associated with the action" so that ぬく is not natural.

I guess it is true that ぬく implies harder challenge, but it also depends on the verb whether or not ぬく comes naturally.

For example, as per the explanation, 読みぬく is okay for reading a long philosophy book (each line requires thinking a lot) whereas 読み切る is the only option when you read manga (regardless of how many volumes you read). To me, 読み切る is always more natural (even if 読みぬく is not impossible).


  • Ok so when it is not that big challenge you would use きる? Commented Apr 15 at 15:48
  • @よおおおおお Ultimately it depends on the verb. For some verbs, ぬく and きる work more or less interchangeably. For others, not. The explanation suggests a rule of thumb and you need to learn one by one which is more natural.
    – sundowner
    Commented Apr 16 at 4:42
  • For another example, writing up a novel should be challenge, but 小説を書ききる is more natural to me than 書きぬく.
    – sundowner
    Commented Apr 16 at 5:31

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