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都合が悪い vs. 不便

イ リ ニ

イ リ ニ


Can someone please explain the difference to me between 都合が悪い and  不便?  I'm familiar with 不便/fuben and 便利/benri.  In lesson 4.5, it introduces 都合が悪い as inconvenient. 

すみません、ちょっと都合が悪いです / sumimasen, chotto tsugō ga warui desu.

Would it be acceptable to say:

すみません、ちょっと不便です/ sumimasen, chotto fuben desu

What is the difference between the two?

Thank you very much!! :-)




こんにちは (Konnichiwa) イ リ ニ,


Good question! 

不便 (Fuben) means “inconvenient” and is the opposite of 便利 (benri) “convenient.”
It is used to express situations that are inconvenient, for example, not having a car, or living in the countryside. 


都合が悪い (Tsugō ga warui) on the other hand, is used to express circumstances that are inconvenient. 都合 (Tsugō) means “circumstances” and 悪い (warui) means “bad,” so literally, it means “circumstances (are) bad.”

It is most often used to express personal availability. 

For example, if someone were to ask you to go out for coffee with them tomorrow but you were busy, you would say 都合が悪い (tsugō ga warui).

It's kind of similar to “it doesn't suit,” or “I'm busy" in English; it's just a more polite, roundabout way of saying it! 


都合が悪い (Tsugō ga warui) is a lot less direct, so it's usually preferred when declining an invitation over 不便 (fuben). 


I hope this helped!
Please let me know if you have any other questions. 


勉強を頑張ってください! (Benkyō o ganbatte kudasai!)




I'm actually very thankful for the Forums as I'm seeing other people having similar questions.  When going through these lessons I had assumed ふべん as a situational or locational inconvenience (The countryside is inconvenient) as opposed to つごう が わるい as being a personal inconvenience. I understood the X ga Y statement though Tsugou and Warui had not as yet come up and assumed they would later on.

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