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くせに [くせに] (kuseni)
    Meaning: although, despite
    Example: although he's tall, he can't run fast
    JLPT Level: 2
    Category: grammar
    Author: dc

  [ Edit This Grammar Entry ]
adj + kuseni

V-plain kuseni

noun + <b>no</b> kuseni
Whereas [noni / のに] is neutral in use, kuseni / くせに is used when expressing annoyance, criticism, or anger. Also, [ni mo kakawarazu / にもかかわらず] expresses a similar idea, but it is a highly formal and bookish expression with no emotion. It cannot be used in highly emotive situations. 
[kuseni / くせに] cannot be used in the first person. Also, the main clause and the subordinate clause must share the same subject. The following two sentences are INGRAMMATICAL:
1. 良子はまだ学生のくせに両親は彼女に高いマンションを買ってやった。(Although Yoshiko is still a student, her parents have bought her an expensive condominium.)
CHANGE TO -->良子はまだ学生[なのに / にもかかわらず]両親は彼女に高いマンションを買ってやった。

2. 私は日本人のくせに日本の国家が歌えない。(Though I am Japanese, I cannot sing the Japanese national anthem.)
CHANGE TO --> 私は日本人[なのに / にもかかわらず]日本の国家が歌えない。
くせに, unlike the more neutral のに, expresses the speaker's feeling of displeasure, disgust or contempt. 

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ex #112   田中さんは日本人のくせにあまり漢字を知らない。 
although Mr tanaka is a Japanese, he doesn't know much kanji.  
ex #358   背が高いくせに早く走れない 
Despite the fact he is tall, he cant run fast.  
ex #1341   いい年をしているくせにこんなことも判らないのか。 
Despite being a grown-up, you don't even understand that! (ie: you're old enough to know better...)  
ex #3154   できるくせにやろうとしない。 
Even though you're able to do it, you don’t (even) try.  
ex #3172   なにも知らないくせに威張るんじゃねえ。 
Don't you brag your head off when you don't know anything!  
ex #3262   私は日本人のくせして日本語の文法が大嫌いだ。 
Despite the fact that I am a Japanese, I strongly abhor Japanese grammar.  
ex #4689   警官のくせに泥棒を怖がるなんて。 
A policeman and afraid of a thief!  
ex #4690   新米のくせに大きな顔をするな。 
Act your place.  
ex #4691   彼は金持ちのくせに乞食のような生活をしている。 
He is rich, and lives like a beggar.  
ex #4692   彼は太っているくせに声は細い。 
His voice is as thin as he is fat.  
ex #6079   知っているくせに、何も教えてくれないんですか。ひどいなあ。 
Even though he knew, he didn't say anything? How rude!  
ex #6080   彼は、彼女のことが好きなくせに、それを彼女に言えない。 
Even though he loves her, he can't tell her.  
ex #6583   知っているくせに、教えてくれない。  
Even though he knows, he won't tell me.  
ex #6584   元気なくせに、病気のふりをしている。 
Even though he's healthy, he pretends to be sick.  
ex #6622   コムスメのくせに大した怪力だ。 
That's a lot of power for a little girl.  
ex #6977   彼は私の本を無くしたくせに、うそをついた。 
Although he lost my book, he told a lie.  
ex #7118   お金もないくせに高い物ばかり買う人は困ります。 
It's too bad that there are people who have absolutely no money but keep buying expensive things.  
ex #8264   貧乏のくせに彼は気前がいい。  
Though he is poor, he is generous.  
ex #8265   彼女は足が痛いくせにピクニックに行った。 
She went on a picnic in spite of the pain in her leg.  

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  See Also:  
[ Add a See Also ]
AmatukaGenerally with 'kuse ni' the implication is negative. e.g. it _wouldn't_ be used for "Although he's English he speak Japanese very well." 
dcmuch ruder than にもかかわらず. you might use when arguing with your little brother! 軽蔑 - disrespect 
bamboo4As I said in another forum, くせに is a somewhat peculiar expression in Japanese, in that くせ that ordinarily means "habit" is used in くせに to denote the "category" or "characterization" that is socially associated with the subject being discussed. For example, when you say 子供のくせにたばこを吸う, it would mean "You smoke while you are categorized as a child" [and therefore it is not within that category of expected behavior as a child for you to smoke].  
Snakeshouldn't that last one be kanji _ga_ shiranai? 
MikiNo, Kanji cannot be a subject here. Please see wo & ga entries. 
Snakeurg i think i read the sentence funny sorry ;/ 
bamboo4If you want to use が here, the sentence would have to be 漢字がわからない.
Snakeah of course, using ga for 'it _cant be understood_ (by me) as opposed to wo for I _dont know it_
MikiSnake, I'm not good at Japanese grammer but I think the subjuect is still 田中さん unlike your comment.
this may be the same が of 「犬が好きです。」in [_Nは].
LeslieI have been told you can't use this when speaking of yourself (わたしがカナダ人のくせに、スキーができない。)True? 
MikiYou can use when you speak as if you are laughing at yourself but なのに would be more popular.
LeslieThank you; I often feel the need to laugh at myself, so this is quite helpful^_^. 
anonIn ex#3262, is くせして = くせに? 
anonanon, you are right. 
みきさん、is it 上手にor 上手く?

I think Miki and bamboo are right,

Basically they mean the same thing.
coneAdded an example from 'Naruto' :) . Might have gotten it wrong, though. 
tigertI noticed that rubyhatchet said that this grammar couldn`t be used with frist person, but Miki`s examples all use first person. 誰が正しいかどうか分からないですよ。 この文法を見たことありません。 そして このサイトであの二人はあまり文法ノートが間違いないので どうしようか分からないんだよ。 

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