As I was taught, with verbs and adjectives, when you want to express an excessive degree, you simply attach 「すぎる」 to the stem of the word, as below.

食【た】べる 食べ過ぎる

多【おお】い すぎる

However, when it comes to negative forms, there seem to be cases where 「さ」 is appended before 「すぎる」, and cases where 「さ」 is not.

For example, I have recently heard:




When is this 「さ」 needed? Is it perhaps optional only for verbs? In the case that it is optional, is there a difference between having and leaving out 「さ」?

1 Answer 1


Referencing the answer here:

The 「ない」s in 「食べない」 and 「多くない」 are different. The first is an auxiliary verb, and the second is an adjective.

It seems the "traditionally correct" way is to first add the 「さ」 in the case of the adjective, and to directly attach 「すぎる」 in the case of the auxiliary verb.

For example, as you heard:



However, in practical usage, there is also an increasingly popular trend to attach the 「さ」 in both cases, as in:



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