1. Can you say ぐらいも? (the emphatic も)


5200円くらいも払ったのに ~

  1. Or even を? or is it omitted?



Both of your examples are not grammatical. [Edit] The first is not very acceptable and the second is ungrammatical.

くらい+particles is possible.

  1. 5000円くらいはする : It costs around 5000 yen.
  2. 子犬くらいの大きさはある : Its size is at least more than that of a puppy.

These くらい is for indicating approximate quantity, which you probably have in mind.

くらいも / くらいを are possible in the following, but くらい here means a bit different (apparently called 軽視 in foreigners' grammar).

  1. 一万円くらいも払えないならこんなとこ来るな : You are not supposed to come to a place like this if you can't pay even (such a small amount as) 10000 yen.
  2. これくらいを暑いというようじゃ東京に住めない : One cannot live in Tokyo if one calls (such a low temperature as) this hot.

So my tentative conclusion is くらい for approximate quantity cannot be used with も/を.



Of the sentence in goldbrick's comments, I think 往復で4000円くらいもかかる is the only one with 'approximate' くらい. (3cmくらい may be on the border). To me, this is acceptable, but sounds still a little unnatural.

Perhaps using approximate くらい + も/を is not completely impossible. But one thing could be that, if you want to emphasize something, rounding/approximating the quantity might be contradictory. At the same time, in emphatic も, people will understand if the number is rounded without くらい:

  • 一日1000人も感染者がいるのにオリンピックやるんですか? : Is Olympic games taking place when we have 1000 cases of infection per day?

Nobody thinks the number is exactly 1000 when hearing this sentence.

The other くらいs in the comment look like use of 例示 (which is listed in dictionary 学研現代新国語辞典 at hand; I don't see this use is specifically mentioned in foreigners' grammar).

I suppose further subtle subcategorization of くらい's use is required for precise analysis.


Comments on your samples:

  1. sounds unnatural (while the one in goldbrick's comment is ok) possibly because 5200 is too precise a number to be postfixed by くらい (an extreme case would be 5289円くらい, which makes no sense.)

  2. as commented by goldbrick, is not acceptable simply because 'eating too much' cannot be really combined with 'an amount as large as a mountain'.

Also, possibly you are right in that を in くらいを can be dropped in most cases. 10万円くらい払った. = I paid around \100000.

  • Searching on the specific string "くらいも払う" in various forms of 払う on google turns up scores of hits, and in about half of them "くらい" is used to indicate approximation, such as "給料1年分と同じくらいも払うのに" and "御代の倍くらいでなく10倍くらいも払うこともよくあります". For better sampling, "くらいもかかる" gives far more results, most of them containing "くらい" of approximation, like "納車まで3ヶ月くらいも​かかってしまいました" and "往復で4000円くらいもかかる". "くらいを" produces similar results, ranging from "家賃の1ヶ月から2ヶ月分くらいを支払う" and "全体の3分の1くらいを占める" to "綿棒の先端3cmくらいをオイルで湿らせます"
    – goldbrick
    Aug 2 at 16:43
  • I think the ungrammaticality of the second sentence is mostly due to the unfitness of 山の大きさ as the object of the verb 食べる; "山の大きさを食べ過ぎて" is already as ill-constructed as "山の大きさぐらいを食べ過ぎて".
    – goldbrick
    Aug 2 at 16:44
  • My response in the edit.
    – sundowner
    Aug 3 at 7:02
  • While I much appreciate the edit, I don't agree with the view that 往復で4000円くらいもかかる is the only one with 'approximate' くらい. I don't see how "全体の3分の1くらい" does not mean "about a third of the total", "3ヶ月くらいも​かかって" not "took about as many as three months" or "10倍くらいも払う" not "pay about ten times (the price)".
    – goldbrick
    Aug 3 at 9:41
  • @goldbrick Honestly I am not so sure. But to me such examples sound like just giving the scale of the amount as an example. E.g. 全体の3分の1くらいをしめる may sound reasonable even if it is actually 1/4, depending on the context. Anyway for sure, the distinction is unlikely to be clear-cut.
    – sundowner
    Aug 3 at 13:54

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