I'm studying for level N2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and have a question about 限り.

I find in my book that 限り meaning "as long as" can be preceded by adjectives, but in A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar they say you can´t use adjectives before 限り. From page 84:

Adjectives cannot precede kagiri.

  1. *面白い限り続けるつもりだ。 (Acceptable form: 面白いうちは……)
    (As long as I find it interesting, I will continue to do it.)

  2. *上手な限り誰でもいいです。 (Acceptable form: 上手​{だったら/であれば/なら}……)
    (As long as the person is good at it, it doesn't matter who does it.)

Can anyone explain to me if I can use adjectives with 限り?

  • 2
    "Can you use adjectives with 限り?" >> Yes, you can use adjectives with 限り meaning "I feel so [happy, sad, etc.]". "Can you use adjective with 限り meaning "as long as"?" >> No, you cannot.
    – user1016
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 14:13
  • 5
    「I find in my book that 限り meaning "as long as" can be preceded by adjectives」>> ほんとに?その本おかしくない??
    – user1016
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 14:20
  • 1
    Thank you Snailplane, for editing my question. And to you Chocolate, for answering. The book I´m using and where I found that I could use adjectives before 限り is N2 "Nihongo so-matome" (page 34) specifically written to pass N2 exam...
    – sandra
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 15:37
  • 2
    I also found 元気な限り, 健康な限り. So maybe 形容動詞 can be used... (or more strictly it should be 元気でい(られ)る限り/健康でい(られ)る限り, maybe??)
    – user1016
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 8:29
  • 6
    I'm not a language specialist but an ordinary Japanese. I think 面白い限り続けるつもりだ, 元気な限り, 健康な限り, 元気でい(られ)る限り, 健康でい(られ)る限り are all natural. But I think 上手な限り誰でもいいです is a little awkward, and 上手​であれば誰でもいいです is more natural (an often heard expression).
    – user4688
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 8:36

2 Answers 2


Here are three examples of socially correct usage I found on the web:

  • ああ、富士山、ただただ美しい限りだ。- Aaah, Fuji-san, just so supremely beautiful.
    (used most frequently when referring to beautiful mountains or sweeping views)

  • #お美しい限り - a hashtag (e.g. twitter, instagram) indicating "beautiful people"

  • 「面白い限り、オリンピック・エンブレム問題」- "???, the Olympic Emblem Problem"

This last example is actually the title of a blog giving the blogger's impression of designer Kenjiro Sano explaining why his Olympic symbol looks like another designer's work. The title is obviously very cynical so it is possible there are multiple simultaneous meanings intended for the [面白い限り] part. Here are some candidates I can think of (I would appreciate feedback).

  1. As long as it is interesting
  2. As long as it is interesting (even though other qualities e.g. originality, are missing)
  3. So very interesting
  4. So very absurd

In summary, it seems like there are special situations where [形容詞]+限り is appropriate as a phrase, but it is not a general grammar pattern with a wide range of usage.

  • ブログの内容からみると、4番っぽい気がしますね。。。
    – chocolate
    Commented Apr 24, 2016 at 9:30
  • hi choco - thanks for your kind editing and feedback! Commented Apr 24, 2016 at 17:41

限り means limit/extent.

In the negative ~に限りない "cannot be confined to; is not limited to; is not necessarily so"

The dictionary of Intermediate Japanese by Makino Sensei is an amazing resource (and believe it or not, he is really good at ping pong).

(It is not fair/possible/correct to say that simply because he is an older man he is unskilled at Ping Pong)


The examples you posted are sound. There are better constructs to use for adjectives (like uchi ni and dattara, nara)

sandra: Anybody who knows 限り grammar when meaning "as long as"

You can say "aru kagiri ~~" but that is a verb. Don't put adjectives in front of it. It's not the beautiful Japanese you are capable of ^_^

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