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Is it possible to say ~んじゃない? If it is, how it differs from ~じゃない?

In what situation I should use ん/の for it, and what does ん/の express?

Examples:

[~い + ん]
いいじゃない
行きたいじゃない
吸えないじゃない

[~な + ん]
好きなんじゃない
先生なんじゃない

[verb(~る/~た) + ん]
するじゃない
食べなかったじゃない

Is it all possible?
In my opinion, the んform expresses there is something implicit or implied. like a desire, or a sad comment, etc ; but saying it in a soft way.

Also:

  • じゃん is the shorten form of じゃない.
    Can I say ~んじゃん, then?

    楽しいんじゃん
    便利なんじゃん
    するんじゃん

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See also my answer to another question. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Jun 26 '11 at 5:30
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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, you can say 〜んじゃない. The ん/の performs its usual function indicating that you are explaining some fact (see my answer to this previous question). 〜じゃない here turns the sentence into a tag question (see Derek's answer to your previous question).

A: (I've already gotten five great answers to questions I asked on the Japanese.SE site!)
B: ええ、便利なんじゃない?

Here B uses ん to relate 便利 to A's statement, thus explaining why A is so happy. "Yes, it's convenient, isn't it [and that's why you are excited about it]!"

A: (I'm so hungry...)
B: え? さっき食べたんじゃない?

Here B uses ん to explain B's own surprise at A's statement. "What? Didn't you just eat [and this is why I'm surprised that you're hungry so soon]?"

As for 〜んじゃん, yes, you can use it. But 〜じゃん is pretty blunt/masculine, so don't use it with your boss.

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hmm. i see. but its better to say ~んじゃない instead of ~じゃない, in that cases? can i say ~んじゃん? –  daniel tomio Jun 26 '11 at 0:19
    
Yes, it's better to use ん when appropriate. It connects your statement to the other party's statement and helps the conversation flow more smoothly. Because Japanese is such an ambiguous language (consider how the subject is implied in both of my example sentences), ん helps to indicate that you are commenting on some fact known to both of you or previously mentioned, not starting a new topic. –  Amanda S Jun 26 '11 at 0:30
    
xD. in that context instead of (さっき食べたんじゃない?)could I use さっき食べたんじゃん. or さっき食べたじゃん or さっき食べたじゃないか。? my doubt is if i could use it naturally any of these endings. if it is in spoken conversation, this ん is normally ommitted? if i say :ええ~さっき食べたじゃん? they would look at me as if it had something wrong? thnks. ^^ –  daniel tomio Jun 29 '11 at 1:10
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Both '~じゃない?' and '~(な)んじゃない?' exist, but have different nuances.

  • '~じゃない?': The speaker already knows about or has made up his/her mind about something and is looking to convince the listener or confirm his/her understanding.
  • ~(な)んじゃない?: The speaker is not sure about the statement, and is asking the opinion of the listener.

'~(な)んじゃない?' usually sounds softer and smoother, so might be a safer choice in most cases, but there are situations where only '~じゃない?' is correct:

(When scolding someone)

× もう言ったんじゃない? (Did you or didn't you already tell him/her?)

○ もう言ったじゃない? I already told you, don't you remember?

(When taking about Bush, and you already know when he became president)

× ブッシュが大統領になったのは2001年なんじゃない? (Not wrong per se, but implies a genuine question, so doesn't fit here.)

○ ブッシュが大統領になったのは2001年じゃない? Well, you know how Bush became president in 2001...

In the above cases, you're not really asking for the listener's opinion, so '~じゃない?' has to be used.

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