I would like to know the difference between these three ways (using the word あまり) to say 'so much ... that'. Which extra sense give the particles に and にも?

I can't see the difference between あまり (http://japanesetest4you.com/flashcard/learn-jlpt-n3-grammar-%E3%81%82%E3%81%BE%E3%82%8A-amari/) and あまりに / あまりにも (http://japanesetest4you.com/flashcard/learn-jlpt-n3-grammar-%E3%81%82%E3%81%BE%E3%82%8A%E3%81%AB-amari-ni/).

Please feel free to provide example sentences so I can see clearly the difference.

Thank you so much in advance for your answers!

2 Answers 2


The root meaning of あまり is overdose (of something). Like something is too much or over the top limit.

It comes from 余る (surplus).

It can be used as a noun. For example:

苦痛のあまり泣いた。 : She cried on an overdose of pain. (if it makes sense)

It can be used as an adjectival participle. For example:

値段が余りに高い。 : the price is too high. (it is overpriced, basically)

It can be used as an adverb (usually in a negative sentence). For example:

余り出来がよくない。 : He does not do very well.

It can be used as a suffix. For example;

百名余りの従業員。 : Employees over a hundred names. (more than 100 employees)


As you can see all of the usages basically are the same あまり and the meaning don't differ that much.

Now with the examples I think you can understand what に does, so I will only explain も:

も often brings a nuance of emphasis to what's behind it, as if it is something unexpected and/or a too much:

二回やったよ。 : I even did it twice!

2時間かかった。 : It even took 2 hours.


The も in あまりにも is doing nothing more than emphasis what comes behind it. You can see examples on this page:



When used to mean "so much... that", the only difference is the usage. It is not the actual meaning of あまり that you have a problem with here. You just have troubles understanding the particle に.

As it is mentioned on Japanesetest4you:

あまりに and あまり both mean “so much… that”, however the placement is different. あまりに is placed before verbs, adjectives and Nouns, not after.

Now if you have specific sentences you struggle with I can explain it better


I don't feel like there is a difference in meaning between two phrases like:



But, I just found a phrase in which replacing one by another would change the meaning:



I feel like the second one isn't quite right. I can't find an explanation to it but I'll edit my answer when I can think of something.

As for your other question, it really depends on the case, when あまり is used as an adverb, it cannot be after the verb.


If you use あまり after the verb in this case, it would not be an adverb but a noun. As for the meaning, it would basically be the same as I explained earlier.

Also, when saying "to much ... that", which extra nuance gives あまりに/あまりにも?

Here again it depends on the nature of あまり. If it is an adjectival participle for example like in 値段が余りに高い。, the に is part of あまり because あまり acts like an adjective.

But if it is a noun like in 嬉しさのあまり, the difference between it with に and without に basically comes down to its relation with the verb. If you know the difference between something like するとき and するときに, you should have no problem understanding this. When に is used, it is directly linked to the verb of the following proposition.



Can you see the difference?

  • Yes, in the cases you put, I can understand the uses of the particles に and も. But when used to say "so much ... that", I can't see the difference between あまり (japanesetest4you.com/flashcard/…) and あまりに / あまりにも (japanesetest4you.com/flashcard/…).
    – Rick
    Jun 23, 2018 at 10:04
  • I continue struggling with this: First here (japanesetest4you.com/flashcard/…), it is stated: Verb-dictionary form + あまり Verb-casual, past + あまり Noun + のあまり, but then, here(japanesetest4you.com/flashcard/…), it is stated: あまり/あまりに/あまりにも + Verb あまり/あまりに/あまりにも + Adverb あまり/あまりに/あまりにも + Adjective あまりの + Noun , so to express the same meaning (so much ... that), you can add before a noun あまりの or のあまり after a noun. So I can't see the difference...
    – Rick
    Jun 23, 2018 at 12:14
  • The same case occurs with あまり. On the one hand, you have "Verb-casual, past + あまり", but then, on the other hand, you see あまり/あまりに/あまりにも + Verb. So, can you place あまり before or after the verb to express the same meaning? Also, when saying "to much ... that", which extra nuance gives あまりに/あまりにも?
    – Rick
    Jun 23, 2018 at 12:24
  • I edited my answer @Rick Jun 23, 2018 at 13:20

あまり is different from others, that means "some" or "not much". The examples are

  1. あまりひどくない。 That is not bad well.

  2. あまりにひどい。 That is very bad.

  3. あまりにもひどい。 That is unimaginable terrible. That is terribly bad.

  • あまり can also mean "too much", just like あまりに and あまりにも. Example sentece from Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary: あまり食べすぎないでね。.
    – makamoe
    Apr 4, 2021 at 14:50

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