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I am quite confused as to how "見る" has suddenly changed into another word, albeit similar meaning when you do this: "見な."

My question is, how has the "na" appeared and the "ru" disappear?

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Compare "confuse" with "confusion". They are different words but have a similar meaning. The final "e" changed into "ion". How did "ion" appear and "e" disappear? –  Earthliŋ Jan 18 '14 at 15:46
Ah, I see the point you are trying to prove, @Earthling, however, I'm actually looking for a detailed explanation. Although analogy is a great way of explaining what happens, it does not explain how. –  Myrl Jan 18 '14 at 15:49
Then you have to explain what you mean when you ask "how"? –  Earthliŋ Jan 18 '14 at 15:56
@Earthling, I'm wondering whether the way of adding "na" is out of the verb bases or is it out of some verb + noun or verb + verb. –  Myrl Jan 18 '14 at 15:59
You mean like 'what is this な here from'? –  Sjiveru Jan 18 '14 at 16:02

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

見な is a shortened form of 見なさい, which, as you probably know, is form from the ます-stem + なさい.

These shortened forms (見な, 食べな, 帰りな, ...) are only used in spoken language.

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This な, expressing an order, can be thought of as coming from a shortened version of なさい:

見なさい! → 見な!

It attaches to the 連用形 of a verb, which is the same form 〜ます attaches to:

見 + ます  = 見ます
見 + な   = 見な

動き + ます = 動きます
動き + な  = 動きな

It is easily confused with another な, which expresses an order not to do something; this other な attaches to the 終止形, which is the plain form of a verb you find in a dictionary:

動く    to move
動くな!  Don't move!

Look at the difference between the two な forms:

見な!   Look!
見るな!  Don't look!

動きな!  Move!
動くな!  Don't move!

If you don't understand why these verbs conjugate differently, you'll need to read in your textbook about the basic two types of verbs. (These are called by various names, including "Type 1 and 2", "vowel and consonant stem" and 一段動詞・五段動詞.)

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I see, thank you for the answer, however Earthling gave the answer earlier than you have. I am grateful though, considering that you took the time to answer to my question. –  Myrl Jan 18 '14 at 16:13
Although I should note that 終止形+な has another possible meaning. –  snailboat Jan 19 '14 at 8:40

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