にくい and づらい - nikui and dzurai - How to say that it is difficult to do something in Japanese?

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In today's article we will learn how to say that an action is difficult to be performed using the adjectives にくい (nikui) づらい (dzurai). We have already written an article talking about details of how to say that an action is easy to perform.

To say that an action is difficult in Japanese, you must add にくい or づらい after the word or verb in place of ます or う. See the example below:

漢字は読みにくいです。
Kanji wa yomi nikuidesu.
Kanji is difficult to read.

These words have kanji, example: にくい (nikui) can be written 難い. Already づらい (dzurai) can be written 辛い, but it is not common to use kanji when the word is used to end a verb.

にくい  vs づらい

Do you know the difference between にくい and づらい? When should I use each one? The word づらい in addition to means difficult, means painful, so dzurai usually has a more subjective meaning while nikui has a more objective meaning. In addition, the word づらい is limited to intentional actions.

There is also がたい which means difficult and uses the same kanji nikui (難い). This word is mostly used to express that an action is very difficult, virtually impossible. You need to understand the context and context to use the right word after the verb.

Example sentences:

Below we will leave some example sentences, mostly about sobre らい, as we will leave a video lesson and phrases only about sobre くい.

とにかく、言いづらい事を打ち明けてくれてうれしいよ。
Tonikaku, ii dzurai koto or uchiakete kurete ureshī yo.
Anyway, I am happy that you were able to address this difficult subject.

これは説明せつめいしづらいです
Kore wa setsumei setsumei shi dzuraidesu
This is difficult to explain.

これは言いいづらいです。
Kore wa ii dzuraidesu.
This is difficult to say.

この肉は食にくいです。
Kono niku wa tabe nikuidesu.
This meat is difficult to eat.

君の言うことは信じがたい。
Kimi no iu koto wa shinji gatai.
I find it hard to believe. (impossible).

Video lesson にくい

To finish and complement the article we will leave a video lesson from our sensei Luiz Rafael talking about にくい。

 

この辞書は重たくて持ちにくいです。
Kono jisho wa omotakute mochi nikuidesu.
This dictionary is heavy and difficult to carry.

この : this
辞書 (じしょ) : dictionary
重たい (おもたい) : heavy
持つ (もつ) : load
にくい : difficult

僕はフォークとナイフのほうが使いにくいと思います。
Boku wa fōku to naifu no hō ga tsukai nikui to omoimasu.
I think fork and knife are more difficult to use.

僕 (ぼく) : me
フォーク : fork
ナイフ : knife
ほうが : more (with a sense of comparison)
使う (つかう) : use
にくい : difficult
思う (おもう) : find, think

この教科書の例文がわかりにくい。
Kono kyōkasho no reibun ga wakari nikui.
The example sentences of this teaching material are difficult to understand.

この : this
教科書 (きょうかしょ) : educational material
例文 (れいぶん) : example sentences
わかる : understand, understand
にくい : difficult

印刷が見にくい
Insatsu ga minikui
The impression is difficult to see.

印刷 (いんさつ) : printing
見る (みる) : see
にくい : difficult

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