Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

If I use an adjective to directly modify a noun how exactly would I conjugate it into the negative form?

For example

これは おおきい やま です。 -> This mountain is large

If I wanted to say "This mountain is not large" could I say

これは おおきくない やま です or これは おおきくありません やま です

or do those two examples above sound unnatural relative to something like

この やま は おおきくない or この やま は おおきくありません

Thanks!

share

1 Answer 1

You can say これは大{おお}きくない山{やま}です; it is perfectly natural.

However, you can't say これは大{おお}きくありません山{やま}です.

The reason behind this is that polite 〜ます forms don't have a 連体形{れんたいけい}, or in more English terms, polite things can't modify nouns.

For example, you can say 食{た}べる人{ひと} to mean "a person who is eating". However, you can't say 食{た}べます人{ひと} to mean the same things, since polite forms don't work when modifying nouns. Similarly, you say 大{おお}きい山{やま}, not 大{おお}きいです山{やま}, and 大{おお}きくない山{やま} rather than 大{おお}きくありません山{やま}.

share
2  
Since when is これは大きくない山です perfectly natural?? It is grammatical but it sounds quite unnatural. –  非回答者 Jan 1 at 22:56
    
I am not a native speaker, I should add. I'm just commenting that it is grammatical; the only reason why it is unnatural is the existence of 小さい. –  user54609 Jan 1 at 23:40

This site is currently not accepting new answers.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .