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思うように+Negative-ない-Form VERB as “does not VERB as desired”

思うように+Negative-ない-Form VERB as “does not VERB as desired”

This grammar pattern is used to express that a certain action does not perform according to one’s desires. More often than not, the Potential Form of verbs are used with this grammar pattern (which are then in turn conjugated into their Negative-ない-Form), but the non-Potential Form can also be used depending on which feels more appropriate and natural. For example, “I could not play as desired” might feel more natural than the non-Potential “I did not play as desired,” while “the plan did not proceed as desired” might feel more appropriate than the Potential “the plan could not proceed as desired.”

Example(s):

オーディションで思うように弾けなかった
Audition de omou you ni hikenakatta.
(I couldn’t play as well as I wished at the audition.)

教科書の漢字が思うように読めない
Kyoukasho no kanji ga omou you ni yomenai.
(I can’t read the kanji in the textbook as well as I wish I could.)

人生は思うようにいかない
Jinsei wa omou you ni ikanai.
(Life does not proceed as desired.)