Ano otoko niwa sugita okusan da.

(She is too good to be that guy’s wife.)


Situation 1: Mr. and Mrs. Shiba are watching news of an actor apologizing for his affair.

妻: あの俳優、あんな素敵な奥さんと子どもがいるのに、なんで浮気なんかするかなあ。

夫: うん、彼女は、どう考えても、あの男には過ぎた奥さんだと思うよ。うちと同じでね。

Tsuma: Ano haiyū, anna sutekina okusan to kodomo ga iru noni, nande uwaki nanka suru ka nā.

Otto: Un, kanojo wa, dō kangaete mo, ano otoko niwa sugita okusan da to omou yo. Uchi to onaji de ne.

Wife: That actor, even though he has such a lovely wife and child, why would he have an affair?

Husband: Yeah, she, however you think about it, is too good to be that guy’s wife. Just like us.

The verb 過(す)ぎる has various meanings and its main one is “to pass”:


(Three weeks have passed.)


In Situation 1, however, the pattern Xには過ぎたY, in which both “X” and “Y” are nouns, specifically has the meaning of passing a certain benchmark, as in Mr. Shiba’s あの男(おとこ)には過ぎた奥(おく)さんだ ([She is] too good a wife for that man):


(There is no need to respond to their excessive demands.)

It is possible to omit Xには, however, as in the following:


(I am honored to receive your wonderful words.)

That example is a humble expression used by the speaker only to refer to themselves.


Situation 2: At home, Mrs. Okubo finds her son Mitsuo playing a video game.

母: 光男、ゲームばかりやっていないで、少しは勉強したら?

光男: 母さん、目的もなく勉強しても、時間を無駄にしているに過ぎないんだよ。もっと効率を考えないと。

Haha: Mitsuo, gēmu bakari yatte-inaide, sukoshi wa benkyō shitara?

Mitsuo: Kāsan, mokuteki mo naku benkyō shite mo, jikan o muda ni shite-iru ni suginai-n da yo. Motto kōritsu o kangaenai to.

Mother: Mitsuo, instead of playing games all the time, why don’t you study a little?

Mitsuo: Mom, studying with no purpose is nothing more than a waste of time. We should think more of efficiency.

The pattern Xに過ぎない, in which “X” can be a noun or verb phrase in its plain form, signals that something is merely/just/nothing more than “X,” and it’s used when talking down yourself or other things:


(He is merely a student.)


Bonus Dialogue: Mr. Ohsaki is given an award by the president for his ideas for new products.


大崎: ありがとうございます。私(わたし)には過ぎた名誉(めいよ)です。

社長: しかし、定年(ていねん)直前(ちょくぜん)に新製品(しんせいひん)の社内(しゃない)コンテストに応募(おうぼ)して最優秀賞を取(と)るなんて、すごいですよ。しかも、すばらしい売(う)れ行(ゆ)きです。

大崎: いえ、私はちょっとアイデアを出(だ)したに過ぎません。ほんの思(おも)いつきに過ぎない私のアイデアを採用(さいよう)し、商品化(しょうひんか)してくださった開発室(かいはつしつ)の方々(かたがた)のおかげです。

社長: 定年まであと3か月(さんかげつ)しかないのが残念(ざんねん)ですが、その後(あと)も嘱託(しょくたく)で残(のこ)ってくれるそうですね。

大崎: はい、社員(しゃいん)の一人(ひとり)に過ぎない私ですが、体(からだ)が動(うご)く限(かぎ)り、会社(かいしゃ)とともにありたいと思(おも)います。

社長: ありがとう。大崎さんのような人(ひと)がわが社(しゃ)を支(ささ)えてくれているということがよくわかります。よろしくお願(ねが)いしますよ。

President: Mr. Ohsaki, congratulations for (receiving) the highest award.

Ohsaki: Thank you. It’s an honor that is too much for me.

President: However, that you applied for the new product in-house contest just before your retirement, and won the highest award, is stunning. Moreover, it is selling brilliantly.

Ohsaki: Well, I merely submitted my idea. It was all down to the people in the development department who took my idea, which had merely been a notion, and commercialized it.

President: It’s regrettable that you have only three months left until you reach retirement age, but I heard that you will remain as a part-time employee after that.

Ohsaki: Yes, I’m a mere employee, but while I’m healthy, I want to be with the company.

President: Thank you. I can see clearly that people like you, Mr. Ohsaki, are supporting our company. I trust you, thank you very much.

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