I've found a sentence like this:

私がちょっとぐらい 自己中で 常識がなくても 許してくれる

Which I've parsed as:

Even if I'm selfish and lack common sense, he'll forgive me, to the extent that it's just a bit.

or more naturally,

He'll tolerate even my selfishness and thoughtlessness, at least for a little while.

But I'm pretty uncertain about the ちょっとぐらい in particular. Both words can perform several functions, and I assumed their combination would be a common idiom, but none of the dictionaries I've checked have examples. What does the combination ちょっとぐらい mean? Can it mean different things in different contexts?

  • ちょっとぐらい means "a little", isn't it? Aug 7, 2016 at 14:50
  • I'm asking because I thought ちょっと can also mean "a little while". Does ちょっとぐらい自己中で mean "a little bit of selfishness"?
    – sky
    Aug 7, 2016 at 15:29
  • Yes, it does. ちょっと means 少し. Aug 7, 2016 at 15:39
  • That sentence must be "I'm selfish and lack common sense a bit." Aug 7, 2016 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


くらい/ぐらい by itself sometimes implies the word before it is a small number/amount.

  • 10円くらいで騒ぐな。 Don't make a fuss about (just) 10 yen.
  • 30分くらいなら待てる。 I can wait for 30 minutes (implying 30 minutes is not too long).

In this sentence, ぐらい after ちょっと is optional, but adds "just" or "only" nuance to ちょっと ("a bit").

In general, ちょっと can be translated both as "for a while" (time) and "a bit" (degree). In this sentence, however, ちょっと modifies 自己中で常識がない, and you cannot be 常識がない only for an hour, for example. So I think "only a bit" is the better interpretation in this case.

  • Okay, thank you. So here, a better translation might be, "Even if I'm just a little selfish and lack common sense, he'll forgive me." However, I get the impression that ぐらい implies a limit to the concession, as in a limit to how much selfishness and lack of common sense will be tolerated. So maybe "He'll tolerate me as long as I'm only a little selfish and thoughtless," would convey that better. Alternatively, is ぐらい setting a limit to the speaker's negative qualities in general, and not just in the context of the concession?
    – sky
    Aug 9, 2016 at 3:30
  • @sky, interesting questions. I'd say that the very fact that the speaker says ちょっと implies that there's a limit. I'd say it's a very weak limit, even "even" is a bit too strong IMO. "He'll forgive me when/if I'm a bit selfish [...]" might be better (but hard to say without the context). If it had been "ちょっとぐらいなら.." it feels more like an explicit limit. "As long as it's just a bit"
    – dainichi
    Aug 9, 2016 at 5:05

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