I'm having some trouble understanding the "と言いうるほどに" grammar in the following excerpt from Natsume Soseki's Sanshiro. Does this mean something like: "to the point of being able to say (danger, danger, while being in a safe position)"?


  • 4
    Please always try to provide your translation attempt or your existing analysis. Are you concerned by 連用形+得る or ほど? – naruto Nov 22 '18 at 1:24
  • 4
    This is the third time you were asked for clarification after posting a short "translation please" type question. As a general rule, we don't accept such questions unless you have clearly shown your research/translation/analysis effort. Please read this. Otherwise people will have to explain every possible grammar point that might have confused you. Or maybe you know the basic translation but are having trouble making sense of it in this context? – naruto Nov 22 '18 at 4:45
  • Third time? This is the first, so far as I know. But maybe I was not that clear: I'm asking specifically about the "to iuro hodo ni" grammar in this context. – Yuji Nov 22 '18 at 18:07
  • 3
    Now that you have posted your own translation attempt, it's very clear that explaining the grammar of ほど and 得る is not important to you. Actually, you know the grammar, but you don't know what it implies in this story. That's what we need. And yes this is the third time someone asked you "what do you know about it so far"? – naruto Nov 22 '18 at 22:41

~と言いうるほどに、closest meaning is "As I can say that~" うる express possibility. These expression by Soseki is not used frequently for modern Japanese language but sometime used in conversation.


Yes, あぶないと言いうるほどに自分はあぶなくない地位に立っている just means "to stay in a safety zone to the point where he can say it's dangerous". You seem to understand the grammar already.

The implication in this context is that someone who innocently says "It's dangerous (so don't do it)" is someone who is an irresponsible bystander. If you are truly involved in an actual trouble, you will not say such a thing because the trouble is already unavoidable. That's why Sanshiro thought the man was like a 批評家; someone who only criticizes others from a comfort zone.


Let me answer the question.. I don’t really understand the meaning of the sentence, and I never used nor heard of と言い得るほどに in my life So I think it doesn’t matter if u don’t understand Sorry it wasn’t actually the answer to ur question.. but I don’t think its good to say like this と言い得るほどに in an actual conversation

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.