Grammar detail: verb stem + 切れない(きれない)

verb stem + 切れない(きれない) - unable to finish something
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verb stem
expresses the idea of being unable to complete or finish something, typically because it is too much, or there is too much of it etc.

There's so much there's no way I can eat it all by myself!
きれない is the negative potential form of
る, which is most commonly used to mean 'cut', but actually has many meanings, often related to cutting (through) something in a broader sense. One of the less common meanings is to finish or complete something, so きれない literally means 'cannot finish'.
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See also:
  • verb stem + 切る(きる) - do completely, use up

Words used in this grammar

suffix, 'ru' godan verb, transitive verb
1. to cut; to cut through; to perform (surgery)
2. to sever (connections, ties)  (see also: 縁を切る)
(click the word to view an additional 21 meanings)

Kanji used in this grammar

セツ   サイ   き to cut   きれる to break, to snap   
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リョウ   はか to measure   
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イチ   イツ   ひと    ひと- one   
ジン   ニン   ひと man   
ショク   ジキ    food   たべる to eat   く to eat   
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