Sunday, July 18, 2010

Let's Enjoy Japanese: As much as you want

Two of the first expressions most newcomers to Japan quickly learn are 食べ放題 (たべほうだい) and 飲み放題 (のみほうだい), which mean all you can eat and drink, respectively. Although these are by far the most commonly used constructions, it can be used to indicate other "unbound" acts.

 歌い放題 is all you can sing and 乗り放題 is unlimited riding.

やり放題 indicates a spree, but be careful as やりたい放題 means a fling (やる can mean "to do," like する, but unless you are in Kansai, it's more often used in a risque sense, like "doing it" in English).

It seems that it can be tacked onto a whole host of verbs. While reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets the other day, I came across a good example describing the Weasleys' yard:

Basically the grass was growing out of control and wherever it wanted.

Here's another example. That's some cheap parking.

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