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Tenkin-de kite, sonomama sumitsuite-shimau hito-mo ooi-sō-desu

by Akemi Tanahashi and Hitomi Tashiro

Tenkin-de kite, sonomama sumitsuite-shimau hito-mo ooi-sō-desu. (There are many people who settled there after getting transferred, I heard.)

Situation 1: Mr. Kamata returns to the main office in Tokyo after having been transferred to Fukuoka for two years.

三田: 蒲田さん、おかえりなさい。福岡の生活はいかがでしたか。

蒲田: 福岡は、とてもいい所でしたよ。転勤で来て、そのまま住みついてしまう人も多いそうです。

Mita: Kamata-san, okaerinasai. Fukuoka-no seikatsu-wa ikagadeshita-ka?

Kamata: Fukuoka-wa, totemo ii tokoro-deshita-yo. Tenkin-de kite, sonomama sumitsuite-shimau hito-mo ooi sō-desu.

Mita: Welcome back, Mr. Kamata! How was life in Fukuoka?

Kamata: Fukuoka was a great place. There are many people who settled there after getting transferred, I heard.

Today we explain how to use the adjective 多(おお)い (many/much) adequately and its related expressions. When 多い is used as the predicate in the sentence end, as above, it does not look different from other adjectives, e,g. おおきい (big), ちいさい (small), etc. But, these can be noun-modifier as in おおきい箱(はこ)(a big box), ちいさい家(いえ)(a small house) etc. On the other hand, 多い can not be used this way; 多い人(ひと)is wrong. To express this meaning, 多くの is or たくさんの is used instead. Example: そこでは、多くの人におせわになった (So many people helped me there); 一度(いちど)にたくさんのことを言(い)われても、わからない (Telling me so many things at the same time makes me confused).

Situation 2: In the classroom at Mitsuo’s high school.

教師: 世界遺産が一番多い国は、どこでしょうか。

光男: イタリアだと思います。

教師: そうですね。では、2番目に多い国は?

Kyoshi: Sekai-isan-ga ichiban ooi kuni-wa, doko-deshō-ka?

Mitsuo: Itaria-da-to omoimasu.

Kyoshi: Sō-desu-ne. Dewa, nibanme-ni ooi kuni-wa?

Teacher: Which country do you think has the most world-heritage sites?

Mituso: I think it’s Italy.

Teacher: Yes. Then, what’s No. 2?

多い cannot be a noun-modifier by itself but can be one when it has its own subject besides the sentence subject, as in 世界(せかい)遺産(いさん)が多い国(くに)(a country that has many world-heritage sites) in the teacher’s first sentence; 世界遺産が is the subject of the adjective phrase. In this usage, the subject marker が can replace の. In his second sentence, the subject 世界遺産 is omitted but clearly exists. For example: みのりの/が多い人生(じんせい)を送(おく)りたい ( I want to live a fruitful life).

Bonus Dialogue: Mr. and Mrs. Okubo are chatting at home.

夫: 最近(さいきん)、結婚(けっこん)しない若者(わかもの)が多(おお)いみたいだなあ。

妻: しないのは女性(じょせい)で、男性(だんせい)はできないんじゃない?女(おんな)は、収入(しゅうにゅう)の少(すく)ない男(おとこ)とは結婚(けっこん)しないから。

夫: うん。最近は非正規(ひせいき)雇用(こよう)が多いからなあ。

妻: 収入が安定(あんてい)していないと、安心(あんしん)して子供(こども)も生(う)めないし。

夫: だから、子供の数(かず)がどんどん少なくなっている。悪循環(あくじゅんかん)だ。

妻: うちは、3人も子供が生めた。あなたががんばってくれたおかげよ。

夫: いや、ぼくたちのときは、時代(じだい)が、まだよかったんだよ。今(いま)はいろんな意味(いみ)で、なやみの多い時代だ。今の若者はきのどくだなあ。

妻: 光男(みつお)が社会(しゃかい)に出(で)るころには、明(あか)るい未来(みらい)が見(み)えているといいわねえ。

Husband: Recently, there are a lot of people who don’t get married, it seems.

Wife: I think it’s women who aren’t getting married, so men can’t, either. Women don’t want to marry a man without a decent income.

Husband: Maybe. These days a lot of people work irregular jobs.

Wife: If your income is irregular, it’s impossible to have a baby without worrying.

Husband: That’s why the number of children has been reducing so fast. It’s a vicious circle.

Wife: We have three children. That’s all thanks to your hard work honey.

Husband: It’s not that: In our case, the times were still good. Now there are various problems. I’m afraid, young people today are really unfortunate.

Wife: Let’s hope society offers a bright future for our son Mitsuo when he starts his career.