Consider the following sentence.


Is 微妙で繊細な a redundant phrase?

  • I can't say for sure, but I feel like 微妙 would usually not be used that way. Might be interpreted as a bad thing. Also I sort of feel like は should be が, but I could be wrong. Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 2:57
  • @stackreader 日本料理ほど繊細なもの は ない means nothing is more delicate than Japanese cuisine while 日本料理ほど繊細なもの が ない means they don't have something so delicate as Japanese cuisine.
    – user4092
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 9:25

1 Answer 1


Although 微妙 and 繊細 refer to similar things ("delicate"), this sentence looks just fine to me. IMHO Calling this a redundant sentence is bit too nitpicky.

Actually, you should not use 微妙 alone in this case. 微妙 is a nuanced word these days and it may mean negative things depending on the context. (See: Why does 微妙 become "sucky" in slang usage?) If you said 日本の料理ほど微妙なものはない, it might mean something negative. If you combine 微妙 with 繊細, there is no room for misunderstanding because 繊細 has a positive connotation.

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