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〜気味 as “slightly〜”

〜気味 as “slightly〜”

The grammar pattern 〜気味 (ぎみ) Is used to express that something is slightly in a certain state or condition. In contrast to the similar grammar pattern 〜勝ち (がち) that is used to express a general (recurring) tendency, 〜気味 (ぎみ) is used to describe a current state or condition. Similarly to 〜勝ち (がち), this grammar pattern is generally used to express a state or condition that is negative, or rather, slightly negative. Translations include “slightly〜, 〜like, 〜looking, seems to〜, feels like〜, having the tendency of〜.”

Perhaps a reason why in some contexts the translation of 〜気味 (ぎみ) may come out as “having the tendency of〜,” which is definition much more in line with 〜勝ち (がち) is that such a case would be working the same way as an English sentence such as “Yeah, my watch runs a bit late” may imply that the state of being slightly late is an ongoing state (perhaps because it cannot be fixed, perhaps because it returns to that state every time batteries are replaced, etc.) not so much through the literal interpretation of the exact words used but through the speaker’s manner of speech and the context of the conversation before that utterance.

Pre-ます-Form VERB + 〜気味
NOUN + 気味
*Words that can be used with 気味 are limited

A slight cold

Kare wa sukoshi futorigimi desu.
He is a bit on the fat side.

Watashi wa gerigimi da.
I seem to have a touch of diarrhea.

Kinou tetsuya shita kara, shoushou tsukaregimi da.
I stayed up all night, so I’m feeling a bit tired

Kare wa enryougimi ni henji shimashita.
He responded with a touch of hesitation.

Kesa mo bus wa okuregimi datta.
The bus was a running a bit late this morning too.

Kyou wa jyugyou de happyou shimasu kara, sukoshi kinchougimi desu.
I will be making a presentation in class today, so I’m feeling a bit nervous.

Similar Grammar:
〜勝ち (がち)