6

~ほど~ない

This grammar always ends with ない. For example,

Aの本はBの本ほど多くない。

A's books are not as many as B's books.

~のように~

I always see this grammar in positive form. For example,

Aの本はBの本のように多い。

A's books are as many as B's books.

AはBのように面白い。

A is as interesting as B.

Problems

However, I got confused when ~のように~ ends with ない. For example,

Aの本はBの本のように多くない。

Which one is the correct interpretation?

  • X: A's books are not as many as B's books.
  • Y: A's books are as not many (i.e., few) as B's books.

Generally speaking, how should AはBのようにCない be interpreted?

  • A is not as C as B.
  • A is as not C as B.
  • I think if you use a different verb as "many" it might click. A's books are not plentiful like B's. If you remember のようにas "like" it will probably help you avoid confusion. – kiss-o-matic Mar 1 '16 at 13:16
  • @kiss-o-matic: I know the meaning of のように to represent resemblance. But all examples are in positive form. – Artificial Stupidity Mar 1 '16 at 13:21
  • Y is the translation I would take this for, but that's based on osmosis... I have no source to back my gut up. I would never think it meant X, though. – Crowbeak Mar 1 '16 at 14:08
  • @Crowbeak: I also used Y in my answer on the test. – Artificial Stupidity Mar 1 '16 at 14:13
  • 1
    It can be ambiguous depending on context, or how you say it (like, whether you pause after ように), etc... To avoid confusion you can say ~は~のように~はない (adding は), as in 宇治市図書館の本は京都市図書館の(本の)ように多くない. – Chocolate Mar 2 '16 at 1:24
1

Generally speaking, how should AはBのようにCない be interpreted?

It might depend on the context, but generally speaking, I think it'd be interpreted as "A is not so C as B" or "Unlike B, A is not C", since the phrase was used that way in almost all the results when I searched for "のように * くない", "のように * くありません", etc. For example:

「紙タバコのようにくない
「マラソンのようにツラくない
「中国人のホテルのフロントは日本のように厳しくありません
「親鳥の肉は若鶏のようにやわらかくありません。」
「タチツボスミレのように細かくありません。」
「将来は今のように働けない。」  

These sentences are interpreted as, and you would sound less ambiguous if you rephrased them (adding a は) as:

「紙タバコのように煙くない」
「マラソンのようにツラくない」
「中国人のホテルのフロントは日本のように厳しくありません」
「親鳥の肉は若鶏のようにやわらかくありません。」
「タチツボスミレのように細かくありません。」
「将来は今のように働けない。」

You could also rephrase them this way without changing the meaning much:

「紙タバコと(は)違い、煙くない」
「マラソンと(は)違ってツラくない」
「中国人のホテルのフロントは日本と(は)異なり、厳しくありません」
「親鳥の肉は若鶏みたいにやわらかくありません。」
「タチツボスミレのように細かくありません。」
「将来は今のように働けるわけではない。」
etc.


Some of the few exceptions I could find include:

「アップル製品のように無駄のない、洗練された作品。」
「『ひらひら』のように濁らない語があるのはなぜ?」
「僕のようにエロくない紳士には向いてないかもしれませんしね」

From the context you can tell that the BのようにCない in these sentences is used to mean "not C, (just) like B". Interestingly, all these were in a relative clause (don't ask me why).


To clearly state "A is as not C as B" or "Like B, A is not C", I think you could probably say like 「(Aは/も)Bと同じくCない」「Bと同じでCない」「Bと同様Cない」 etc., as in:

「このゲームは、お子様の創造力と同じく、ゴールがありません。」
「彼も僕と同じく人気者じゃありません。」
「中華そば同様それほどからくありません。」

3

AはBのようにCない。

I think you could interpret that like this. I thought of a few examples.

あたしの胸はあなたの胸のように大きくない。

My chest isn't as big as yours.

A isn't as C as B.

あたしの目はあなたの目のように離れていない。

My eyes aren't as spread out as yours.

A aren't as C as B.

りんごはオレンジのようにみずみずしくない。

Apples are not as juicy as oranges.

A are not as C as B.

あたしの髪はあなたの髪のように柔らかくない。

My hair doesn't feel as soft as yours.

A doesn't (feel) as C as B

In this case the Japanese sentence doesn't require the word feel but when translated to English the word feel is needed to describe what is soft.

かめはうさぎのように速くない

The tortoise is not as fast as the rabbit.

A is not as C as B.

I'm not entirely sure if I am correct but these are a few sentences I came up with and how I would say them in English.

  • +1: Thanks for your effort. Anyway, I cannot decide the accepted answer until you are sure you are correct. – Artificial Stupidity Mar 1 '16 at 15:28
  • @YasashiiEirian In your question you used the word interpretation and I think it is a matter of opinion when it comes to interpreting things so you may never get your so called 'correct' answer. – ConstantFun Mar 1 '16 at 16:37
  • OK. Thanks. I am looking forward to hearing from you and others that your interpretation is correct. (wink) – Artificial Stupidity Mar 1 '16 at 23:17
3

AはBのように多くない is ambiguous if it's "A is not as many as B" or "A is as not many as B". But the former usually takes particle は like AはBのように多くない.

1

I think first "Aの本はBの本のように多くない。" is only translated as "A's books are not as many as B's books." but I noticed that it can be also translated as "A's books are as not many(few) as B's books."

If you use comma, it may be easier to understand.

"A's books are not as many as B's books." is translated as "Aの本はBの本のように多く、ない。" and if you use "は" it become clearly the meaning like Aの本はBの本のように多くはない. This ない is negative for Aの本は. In other words, A is not, how?, like b is many(Bの本のように多く).

"A's books are as not many(few) as B's books." is translated as "Aの本は、Bの本のように多くない。" and it means "Aの本はBの本のように少ない。". This ない is negative for 多く. In other words, A is, how?, like b is not many(Bの本のように多くない)

They are summarized as follows: Aの本はBの本のように多くない can be translated as "A is not as C as B." and "A is as not C as B." but I think "A is not as C as B." is more common.

  • +1 for your effort. I am waiting for other answers before deciding the accepted answer. – Artificial Stupidity Mar 1 '16 at 14:12
  • By the way, is " as not many as" used commonly? And does it means "few"? – Yuuichi Tam Mar 1 '16 at 14:50
  • My point is not on the word choice "not many" or "few", but on which part is the negation ない should be applied. – Artificial Stupidity Mar 1 '16 at 15:33

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