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This question already has an answer here:

correct example: 「うちの子には子供らしく元気に育ってほしい。」

why is it not correct? 「うちの子には子供みたいに元気に育ってほしい。」

can't really understand why it can't be used in this sentence

marked as duplicate by naruto, macraf, Chocolate, Dono, Community Feb 8 '17 at 12:48

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The reason is that:

「こどもらしい」 has a positive meaning of "child-like" and

「こどもみたい」 has a negative meaning of "childish".

Thus, your second sentence:

「うちの子{こ}には子供{こども}みたいに元気{げんき}に育{そだ}ってほしい。」

practically makes no sense as it means:

"I want my kid to grow up healthily in a childish way."

Your first sentnece:

「うちの子には子供らしく元気に育ってほしい。」

makes perfect sense as it means:

"I want my kid to grow up healthily like a good kid (should)."

  • This is an interesting difference between these two words. Does it apply more generally, or just to this example? – Locksleyu Feb 7 '17 at 18:53
  • 大人らしく⇔ (usu. a young person) behave like an adult, be mature (good), 大人みたい ⇔ (usu. a teenager) look like an adult (good/neutral), お爺さんらしく ⇔ (needs more, e,g, ゆっくりあるく、知恵が深い), お爺さんみたい ⇔ (needs more, ...), 自分らしく ⇔ being oneself (good), 自分みたい⇔ (needs more, ...), – Craig Hicks Feb 7 '17 at 23:02
  • @Locksleyu ~みたい is not always negative. Saying プロみたい to an amateur sport player is definitely positive (and saying the same thing to a real professional player is either insulting or playful). – naruto Feb 8 '17 at 2:35
  • 子供みたい is not always negative, either. 私の母は子供みたいに笑う does not carry any negative connotation, and saying 私の母は子供らしく笑う sounds simply unnatural. – naruto Feb 8 '17 at 2:51

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