Using 〜やすい for "Easy to..."

    • Verb
    Rooted in the adjective 易い (easy), 〜やすい is used to describe the ease of an action or achievement, in much the same way as we might say "easy to do something" in English.

    Table of Contents

    What Is やすい?

    The origin of 〜やすい is the adjective 易いやす  (easy), and as you might expect it is used to express the ease of doing something. On the other end of the scale, 〜にくい, which is derived from the obsolete adjective 難いにく  (difficult), is used to describe the difficulty of doing something.

    〜やすい expresses the ease of doing something as a characteristic of whatever you're talking about, rather than a characteristic of the person who is doing the action. For example, when you say ジェニーは話しやすい meaning "Jenny is easy to talk to" it is because of her approachable personality or some other quality that Jenny or her environment has, but not because of your excellent social skills.

    やすい for Physical and Psychological Ease

    〜やすい can be used for both physical and psychological ease. Let's take a look at an example:

    • ジェニーは話しやすい。
    • Jenny is easy to talk to.

    It sounds like you want to describe the personality of your friendly friend Jenny. In this case, 〜やすい is describing the psychological ease of talking to Jenny. Let's take an example of 〜やすい describing physical ease, next:

    • ジェニーは話しやすい。
    • Jenny is easy to talk to.

    Wait, is this the same sentence? Yes it is! Because this exact same sentence could be used in a different context. If this has a context that's more about physical ease, then maybe Jenny is a coworker, and her desk is right next to yours, or Jenny is actually the AI on your phone, and she is always there for you whenever you say "Hey, Jenny."

    やすい for Tendency and Intolerance

    Since 〜やすい describes ease as an attribute of whatever you're talking about, it can be used to describe someone's tendencies and intolerances, often related to something innate about that person. When やすい is used this way, the English translation is usually something like "X does Y easily." Let's take a look at an example:

    • 私の父は酔いやすい。
    • My father gets drunk easily.

    This would literally translate to "My father is easy to get drunk," indicating that your father has a low tolerance for alcohol, and he gets drunk fast.

    Another example is:

    • 私は惚れやすい。
    • I fall in love easily.

    This would literally translate to "I am easy to fall in love," indicating that you have a tendency to fall in love quickly!

    やすい for Modifying Nouns

    Again, the main mission of 〜やすい is to describe an attribute of whatever we're talking about. Since it is based on the adjective 易いやす , it still behaves as an adjective. This means that it can modify nouns in exactly the same way as other い-adjectives. Though this doesn't happen as frequently as with 〜にくい, you will see 〜やすい modifying nouns just like adjectives do. (And it is useful to be able to use it this way!)

    • 話しやすい人
    • a person who is easy to talk to
    • 書きやすいペン
    • a pen that is easy to write with