409 - ～気味
As we get into more N2 grammar, you have the opportunity to make your speaking and writing a bit more flavorful. All the grammar points that you are learning should be practiced as much as possible to get yourself used to using them.
Isn’t it a great feeling when you finally get to use a grammar point you have been learning, or even better, when you understand it when someone speaks to you?
Today we are learning about the colorful ～気味 (ぎみ).
By itself, 気味 is pronounced きみ and it means something along the lines of "feeling."
When it attaches to another word, though, as we'll see in this lesson, the き changes to ぎ, giving us ～気味 (～ぎみ), which means "a touch of; a bit of; a dash of; etc." In other words...
～気味 is added to nouns or verbs to indicate that something or someone has a "touch of something," a slight tendency to be a certain way.
Here is the construction:
Vます-stem + 気味
NOUN + 気味
太る（ふとる // to get fat）
太り気味（ふとりぎみ // a bit fat）
風邪（かぜ // a cold）
風邪気味（かぜ ぎみ // a touch of a cold）
And a few example sentences of how it is used:
ちょっと かぜぎみ なので、 ビタミンシー を たくさん とる ように しています。
Since I have a slight cold, I'm being careful to take a lot of vitamin C.
Literally: “little + a cold + a touch of + because (=なので) + vitamin C + を + a lot + take + am being sure to do.”
かれ は ユーフォー を みた とき の こと を こうふんぎみ に はなし はじめた。
He somewhat excitedly started talking about the time he saw a UFO.
Literally: “he + は + UFO + を + saw + time + の + こと + を + excitement + a touch of + に + started to talk.”
気味 is often used for negative feelings.
This doesn’t always have to be the case, but more often than not, 気味 has a negative feeling.
わたし の おばあちゃん は まいにち あまい もの を たべている せいで ふとりぎみ です。
My grandma is kind of fat because she eats sweets every day.
Literally: “I + の + grandma + は + every day + sweet + things + を + eating + due to + getting fat + a touch of + です.”
ここ すうねん、 サッカー の にんき は ラグビー の もりあがり に おされぎみ です ね。
In the last few years, the popularity of soccer has been slightly losing ground to rugby, hasn't it?
Literally: “these + last few years + soccer + の + popularity + は + rugby + の + swelling / excitement + に + losing ground + a touch of + です + ね.”
Note: By itself the passive verb 押される means "to be pushed/pressed." But you can also find the word 押され気味 in dictionaries as "being on the ropes; losing ground."
Over to you! Can you think of a few example sentences using ～気味?
This is my dog's 疲れ気味 (つかれぎみ // a bit tired) face after a long walk:
This lesson was written by Cassy L., a guest contributor: