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宜野座{ぎのざ}君、ここは口を開くほど墓穴を掘る局面ではないかね

How this ほど work in this sentence?

For example, I can understand that in a sentence like this one:

人が死ぬほど酷い状況です。

人が死ぬ is how much the situation is 酷い.

This sentence makes sense to me withouth the need for a translation or even consciusly "thinking about it".

I was looking up online the meaning of "to the extent that" since I tought that I could have understood it wrong. So I found this sentence and the explanation:

That memory was engraved into his life to the extent that he hasn't been able to stop thinking of it all the time.

The clause after 'to the extent that' is applied to explain how much that memory has affected his life

So would it be wrong to think that when I found ほど it could be like this:

XほどYをする
Doing Y to the amount of X.
Or
X is how much I do Y.

So the sentence could be:
口を開くほど墓穴を掘る
I dig my own grave as much as I talk.

Could someone give me a better explanation of this ほど?

  • Maybe idiomatic. 商品もたくさん目にすれば目にするほど好きになる。 人も会えば会うほど好きになる…… tanos.co.uk/jlpt/skills/grammar/sentences/?grammarid=374 •たくさん持てば持つほど、それだけいっそう多く欲しくなる。 The more you have, the more you want. – HizHa Aug 24 '16 at 20:22
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This ほど is the same ほど used in the ~すれば~するほど ("the more ~, (the more —)") pattern. In this pattern, the "~すれば" part can be omitted without changing the meaning. Taking some of the examples in the link, the following two sentences are semantically equal.

経済が成長すればするほど貧富の差が広がっていく。
経済が成長するほど貧富の差が広がっていく。
The more developed the economy is, the bigger the disparity of wealth becomes.
(× The disparity of wealth becomes bigger to the point where the economy is developed)

甘いものを食べれば食べるほど太っていく。
甘いものを食べるほど太っていく。
The more sweet stuff I eat the fatter I become.
(× I become fatter to the point where I eat sweet stuff)

So the original sentence literally means "The more you speak, the more you dig your grave". He basically says "silence is golden".

You will typically see "adjective + くなる", "te-form + いく" or "te-form + くる" in the following clause, which serves as the hint that this pattern is used. That is not the case with your sentence in question, so you have to get the correct meaning from the context.

See also:

  • Thank you. I also read that yesterday and I think that ほど has a connotation of proportionality from what I understand. So "口を開くほど墓穴を掘る" is something like "In proportion to how much you speak, you dig your own grave". Does this make sense to you? – Splikie Aug 25 '16 at 7:32
  • @Splikie Yes, something like that. FWIW ほど can be used with a noun: 弱い犬ほどよく吠える ("The weaker a dog is, the more it barks" → "A barking dog seldom bites") – naruto Aug 25 '16 at 15:39

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