How to express “Much” in Japanese?

There are several ways to express “a lot” or a lot in Japanese, some of these ways are totemo, ooku, takusanhi, etc. But what is the difference between each of them? When to use each? Are there any other ways? We will answer all of these questions in this article.

TOTEMO [とても] - Adverb of much

Totemo [とても] or [迚も] is an adverb that means “a lot; excessively ”and is often used to modify adjectives. O totemo it is used more to express feelings, while the other options that we will see below, it is used more to express quantity and abundance of things.

Examples of use of Totemo

Responsive Table: Roll the table sideways with your finger >>
彼はとても思慮深い人だ。Kare wa totemo shiryobukai hitoda.He's a very thoughtful person.
彼はとても疲れていた。Kare wa totemo tsukarete ita.He was very tired.
夜、とても暑い。Yoru, totemo atsui.The night is very hot
とても大好きTotemo dai sukiI love so much

DAI [大] - Very Large in Japanese

Dai [大] it can also be translated as “a lot; big ”when used in conjunction with some words like [好き]. [大好き] means, an even greater love, and together with [とても] it becomes more powerful.

In place of [とても] you can try to use different expressions like:

  • なり – Kanari – Considerably; quite
  • 特に – Tokuni – Particular; especially
  • 本当に – Hontouni – Really; truly
  • すごく – 凄く – sugoku – Extremely
  • 超 – チョー – cho - Super
  • めっちゃ – meccha – Ridiculously
  • 結構 – kekkou – Splendid; good; wonderful; quite
  • 相当 – soutou – Considerable; substantial; extremely 
  • 随分 – zuibun – very; extremely; surprisingly; considerably
  • 極めて - kiwamete - Quite; extremely; decisively
  • とんでもない - tondemonai - Iunthinkable; unexpected; outrageous
  • 余計に - yokei ni - Dand more; excessive; superfluous; surplus; not necessary 
  • 余程 - yohodo / yoppodo - Very; largely; quite
  • 前代未聞 - zendaimimon - unprecedented; unprecedented; unparalleled; record 

Try to get out of [とても] a little and make your sentences richer, using these different expressions.

How to express “a lot” in Japanese?

OOI [多い] - Adjective of many

Hello [多い] is an adjective that means “many / a lot”, however you cannot place a noun after this adjective. For example, see the phrase “There are too many people” written below:

  • Wrong: 多い人がいます - hi hito ga imasu 
  • Correct: 人が多いです - Hito ga ōidesu

Not only this, but there are some adjectives that cannot be used before nouns. Only in cases where you have a relative clause. That is, when the adjective [多い] does not modify the following noun, for example:

  • 人が多い町に行きました - Hito ga ooi machi ni ikimashita
  • I went to a city where there are a lot of people;

OOKU [多く] - Very large

Ooku [多く] means “many; very; largely; abundantly; most of the time ”and can be used before the noun, and must be used together with the の particle or another particle. Examples:

Responsive Table: Roll the table sideways with your finger >>
金は多くの人を破滅させる。kane wa ōku no hito o hametsu sa seru.Money is the bane of many
3月になると多くの花が咲く。sangatsu ni naru to ōku no hanagasaku.In March many flowers bloom.
彼は多くの苦難を経験した。Kare wa ōku no kunan o keiken shita.He suffered a series of/many difficulties.

TAKUSAN [たくさん] - Various and many

Takusan [たくさん] (沢山) is an adverbial noun that means “a lot; lots; abundance; Many; a big number; enough".  Examples:

Responsive Table: Roll the table sideways with your finger >>
そんなにたくさんくださいました。Son'nani takusan kudasaimashita.You gave me so many.
アナは友達がたくさんいる。Ana wa tomodachi ga takusan iru.Ana has a lot of friends
たくさんの人が交通事故で死ぬ。Takusan no hito ga kōtsū jiko de shinu.Many people die in traffic accidents.

Like takusan is an adverbial noun it can be used without the [の] particle together with verbs. But you cannot say [たくさん本] (many books) without using the particle [の]. The correct way to say it is [たくさんの本] (a lot of books).

TAIHEN [大変] - Many problems

Taihen [大変] can be translated as "very; great; immense; huge ”but most of the time it is used to express something bad, terrible, most of the time it is used in a negative way. Examples:

Responsive Table: Roll the table sideways with your finger >>
大変寒くなった。Taihen samuku natta.It got really cold.
この町で暮らすのは大変だ。Kono machi of kurasu no wa taihenda.It is very difficult to live in this city.
それは大変だねえ・・・。Sore wa taihenda ne e.This is very bad. / That's terrible.
How to express “a lot” in Japanese?

Other ways to say a lot in Japanese

There are many other ways to say "many; quite; large quantity", we will see another list below:

  • 大勢 – Oosei – Many; crowd; large number of people
  • 幾多 – Ikuta – Many; numerous
  • 数々- Kazukazu – Many; numerous
  • 幾つも – Ikutsumo – Many; a series of; large number of
  • 百万 – Hyaku man - One million; thousands; Many; millions
  • 幾 – Iku – Some; several; Many
  • 万 – Ban – Prefix of many; all
  • 数多 – Omata – Many; very; multitude
  • 夥多 – Kata – Abundant; Many

Words containing kanji [] most of the time it refers to a large amount of something. Examples:

  • 何千 – Nanzen – Many thousands
  • 多年 – Tanen – Many years
  • 多色 – Tashoku – Multicolored; many colors
  • 多少 – Tashou – So-so; a little; some
  • 多大 – Tadai – Very heavy; heavy; very
  • 多量 – Taryou – Lots
  • 幾晩も – Ikubanmo – several nights

Japanese phrases expressing a lot

To conclude the article we will leave a video class taught by Luiz Rafael Sensei:

This video lesson sentences:

Kinō wa totemo samukatta.
Yesterday was very cold.

  • 昨日 (きのう) : yesterday
  • とっても : a lot
  • 寒い (さむい) : cold

Takusan no hana ga sakimashita.
Many flowers have blossomed.

  • たくさん : a lot
  • 花 (はな) : flower
  • 咲く (さく) : bloom

Kyonen wa ame ga ōkattadesu.
Last year the rains were numerous.

  • 去年 (きょねん) : last year
  • 雨 (あめ) : rain
  • 多い (おおい) : many / numerous

Ojīsan ni wa ōku no sainō ga arimasu.
My grandfather has many talents.

  • おじいさん : grandfather
  • 多く (おおく) : many / numerous
  • 才能 (さいのう) : talent
  • ある : to have / have

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