Most of my Japanese I’ve picked up simply from talking to native speakers in Japanese. Asking them to repeat themselves a few hundred times, texting on LINE and using my favorite iPhone Japanese Dictionary imiwa?.

One thing I picked up rather quickly was the use of くらい or ぐらい, which means “about” as in an approximation. For example if I was talking to a friend about going to the mall or a movie and they asked me how far it is I could tell them,

“By car, about 15 minutes.”"

For a while I was also misusing くらい or ぐらい when telling that something will happen at around a certain time. For example if someone asked:

“What time is the party?”

I might answer:

“Around 8PM”

Finally corrected me and told me that ぐらい or くらい with a specific time is a no-no. Instead I should use ころ or ごろ in the same way, but I was understood.

So when a friend asks

“What time is the event?”

You should answer with ころ・ごろ:



Even though I was understood using the wrong word, it’s probably a better idea to get it straight in my head. So you can use this small cheat sheet to help:

日本語 When to use Example
ころ・ごろ use with specific time パーティー何時ですか?
くらい・ぐらい use with a duration of time. 日本語はどのくらい勉強しますか?

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22 March 2014