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好きで好きでどうしようもないぐらい好きだった
I loved her so much that I didn't know what to do with myself

Why 好きで is used twice? Is it for emphasis? And what does もないぐらい mean?

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    There is no lexical term もないぐらい. The important phrase is どうしようもない. A slightly different formulation of しようがない, which you've probably heard. ぐらい is a variation of くらい. Oct 18 at 18:53

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Note that すき is a na-adjective technically. So it is a repetition of adjective, which can happen in English as well (e.g. the Beatles has Blue Blue Sky).

Hopefully the following help to see a general pattern.

  • 若いころは旅行が楽しくて楽しくて世界中回った
  • In youth, I liked travelling so much and traveled all around the world.
  • 働くのが嫌で嫌でいつもさぼっている
  • I hate and hate working, so am always slacking.
  • かゆくてかゆくてたまらない
  • It is so itchy and I can't bear it.

Note that the repeating part is usually some sort of feeling/sensation.

(I don't know if hate and hate works, but you know what I mean...)


Re どうしようもないくらい, it is easier just to remember どうしようもない is one word meaning there is nothing that can be done/no way/hopeless. くらい is (to the) extent/degree.

Overall, the sentence means I loved her so much. So much so that there was nothing that could be done about it.

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