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っぽい vs がち in this particular question

Yakultcat

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Hello

Hope someone can clarify. I've just started learning N2 Japanese using a nihongo so-matome grammar textbook. One of the practice questions is:

この時計は20年使ているがこのごろ遅れ(a.っぽい b. がち) だ.

Now originally I chose b - misread that the answer was a, got confused, obsessively researched ppoi and gachi, thought I understood why ppoi, then came back and realised actually gachi after all and just utterly confused myself...

Can someone help clarify? I used this sites explanation: Tomo Japanese Language Centre - Speak, Read, Write like a Japanese ( I can't link directly to the thread, sorry) - which appears to be gachi occurs when a bad change or action occurs, while ppoi is used together with changes such as okoro, wasure, etc and expresses the meaning that the circumstances occurring are becoming more frequent.

So I think, okay according to this, gachi = the negative change of becoming slow , whereas ppoi would be that the instances of slowness are more frequent... But my textbook has that gachi = Verbになることが多かった, while ppoi is よくVerbようになる - so isn't this essentially saying the same thing in a slightly different way? How can gachi and ppoi be distinguished? Aaaargh!

Thank you for any help in unfogging my brain before I succumb to madness completely.
 

Toritoribe

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がち shows that it has "tendency/characteristics", so 遅れがち means that the watch tends to run slow.
On the other hand, っぽい is used when the subject shouldn't or usually doesn't have the tendency/characteristics, but nevertheless has it. For instance, 怒りっぽい connotes that people shouldn't tend to get angry, or 子供っぽい can't be used for children, unlike 子供らしい.
And yes, these two expressions often have a negative nuance.
 

Hoge

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ぽい doens't attach to just any verb. So your original answer is correct. 怒る 忘れる 飽きる 惚れる 照れる are the only verbs I can think of that take っぽい (怒りっぽい, etc.), though I hear younger people say things like あるっぽい, あったっぽい, in the meaning of ~みたいだ.
They also say ありがち to mean just よくある, regardless of it's a bad thing or not.
 
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Yakultcat

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Toritobe - thank you for the explanation, this has made the difference between がち and っぽいmuch clearer for me.

Hoge - thanks for the advice re which verbs っぽい is usually used with, the textbook just states how to use with verbs, not that it is generally limited to a certain set...
 

Hoge

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the textbook just states how to use with verbs, not that it is generally limited to a certain set...
That's right. You don't say 笑いっぽい or 泣きっぽい.
 

Toritoribe

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While っぽい as "tendency/characteristics" is attached only with the -masu stem(連用形) of some specific verbs such like ひがみっぽい(from 僻[ひが]む) or うたぐりっぽい(from 疑[うたぐ]る), as Hoge-san pointed out, a colloquial/slangy expression っぽい, meaning "to seem like", is connected to the plane form of verbs. Furthermore, the negative form っぽくない/っぽくなかった is not used in the latter usage. It's close to みたいだ, らしい or ようだ also in this sense.
e.g.
tendency/characteristics
present: 怒りっぽい
negative: 怒りっぽくない
past: 怒りっぽかった
negative past: 怒りっぽくなかった

seems like
present: 怒るっぽい
negative: 怒らないっぽい(×怒るっぽくない)
past: 怒ったっぽい / 怒ったっぽかった
negative past: 怒らないっぽかった / 怒らなかったっぽかった(×怒らないっぽくなかった)
cf.
○怒らないみたいだ
×怒るみたいじゃない
○怒らないらしい
×怒るらしくない

In conclusion, these two usages of っぽい are completely different expressions, and you will be able to distinguish them easily by the conjugation form of the verbs.
 

Yakultcat

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Wow, thank you, I don't think I'd have paid enough attention to notice the slightly different way of forming to realise a difference. Will look out for this.
 
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