つらい vs. くるしい: Are You Sure About That Word Usage?

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つらい vs. くるしい: Are You Sure About That Word Usage?

What is the difference between “つらい and くるしい”? They have subtle differences. When you feel sad, which is correct: “わたしつらいです or わたしくるしいです”? After reading this, you would be answering this question. Let me introduce what their subtle differences are and how you correctly use them such as native speakers today!




つらい (tsurai)

Hard/Tough time / 辛苦 / 괴로운 / Đau khổ

つらい” means “Hard/Tough time” and which has been used as the meaning of “Times or period of trouble, struggle, or unhappiness”. The basic way it is “___(something/someone)は/がつらいです. For instance, “わたしつらいです(I’m having a hard time.), “勉強べんきょうするのはつらいです(To study is a hard time.)”, etc. Ordinally “つらい” describes “emotional pain”, unlike くるしい. Furthermore, we can write “つらい” and “からい” as the same “kanji”, however, “からい” means “spicy and hot”, so the way to use them is completely different such as ”このカレーはからい(This curry is spicy.)”.

Example
ゆか
つら1日いちにちだったー。 (I had a tough day.) (真是难熬的一天。) (괴로운 하루였어.) (Thật là một ngày khó khăn!)
たつや
いま一番いちばんつらときだよ。 (It’s the hardest/toughest time.) (现在是最难熬的时刻。) (지금이 가장 힘들 때야.) (Bây giờ là thời điểm khó khăn nhất đấy.!)
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ゆか
つらときつらって、ってもいいんだよ。 (If you are having a hard time, you can say so.) (辛苦的时候,直接说出来也是可以的哦。) (힘들 때는 힘들다고 말해도 괜찮아.) (Khi gặp khó khăn thì cứ nói ra!)
たつや
レイってきているのがつららしいよ。 (I’ve heard Ray’s having a hard time.) (对玲衣来说活着似乎很痛苦。) (레이는 살아있는 것이 괴로운가봐) (Rei có vẻ sống rất khó khăn.)




くるしい (kurushii)

Short of breath/Heartbreak / 痛苦 / 어려운 / Khó khăn

くるしい” means “Short of breath” and which has been used as the meaning of “it is difficult to breathe properly, for example, because you are ill or something.”. The basic way it is “___(something/someone)は/がくるしいです such as “(わたしは)くるしいです(I’m short of breath.). However, “くるしい” have some meanings such as “生活せいかつくるししい(I am broke.)”, and “むねくるしい(It’s breaking my heart.)”. So, the meaning of “むねくるしい(It’s breaking my heart.)” and “つらい(I have a hard time) is quite similar such as after breaking up with your boy/girlfriend, however, in this case, “つらい” describes much longer periods than “くるしい” which is pretty shorter periods. Both of the meaning is “sad”. Further, “sad” cause actual “short of breath” which is “くるしい”.

Example
ゆか
ふかいきができなくてくるしいよ! (I can’t take a deep breath!) (不能深呼吸真的很痛苦!) (깊게 숨을 못 쉬어서 괴로워!) (Tớ cảm thấy rất khó chịu vì không thở sâu được.)
たつや
生活せいかつくるくて・・・ (I am broke…) (生活很艰苦……) (생활이 어려워서…) (Cuộc sống thì vất vả…)
ゆか
なんとなく呼吸こきゅうくるしいよ。 (Somewhat I’m short of breath.) (不知怎的,觉得呼吸很困难。) (어딘지 모르게 호흡이 어려워.) (Tớ cứ cảm thấy khó thở sao ấy.)
たつや
病院びょういんったほうがいいよ! (You gotta see a doctor!) (你最好去医院!) (병원에 가는편이 나아) (Cậu nên đi bệnh viện đi!)

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