I'm using Nihongo So-Matome 文法{ぶんぽう} while preparing for JLPT N3, and having some issues with some of the grammar descriptions.

This StackExchange answer was awesome in clearing up most of my らしい / っぽい / みたい questions:

Contrasting っぽい、らしい、みたい

However, this one remains - why is it OK to say:


But not:




Axioplase's answer to the question you linked expresses the nuance.

  • っぽい: '-ish'. Can be used for an attribute, or resemblance.

黒っぽい車 [attribute]
'a blackish car'

霊{れい}柩{きゅう}車{しゃ}っぽい車 [resemblance]
'a hearse-ish car'

  • みたい: 'like'. Can be used for resemblance, but not for an attribute.

× 黒みたいな車 [attribute]
 'a car that is like black'

 霊柩車みたいな車 [resemblance]
 'a car that is like a hearse'

  • 2
    Sawa, this is just the answer I needed - with some more extrapolation I might have figured the answer out from Axioplase's comment, but your explanation is much clearer, thanks! "Can be used for resemblance, but not for an attribute." Oct 19 '11 at 7:51

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