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In Japanese class, we were always taught that the negative of 来{く}る is 来{こ}ない (not きない). In Japan, though, I've heard several native speakers use きない. I have two questions about きない.

  1. Who uses きない? People from rural areas? Rural Tohoku and Kanto regions? Is it part of a certain area's 方言?

  2. What impression does きない give? One of my native Japanese friends got made fun of for using it, so I imagine きない is thought of as quaint or maybe uneducated by some. (Personally, I like it, though).

Thanks so much!

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According to here and here, this is common in [茨城]{いばらき} and [群馬]{ぐんま}. Also appearing in Saitama and Chiba.

These were the top two links googling in きない 来ない...

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Thanks for the information! I also heard someone from Miyagi using it, so it seems pretty widely used, but perhaps it's mainly a (rural-ish?) Kanto phenomenon? – Anonymous Aug 6 '14 at 2:03
I cannot recall ever hearing it in Tokyo. And no one uses it in Hokkaido. (but I should warn you that I'm not a native speaker of Japanese). – virmaior Aug 6 '14 at 2:48
I've spent time living in Morioka up in Iwate prefecture, next in Utsunomiya in Tochigi prefecture, and lastly in Tokyo. Any time I heard きない as a verb form, it was 着ない. I never heard きない meaning 来ない. Though similarly to virmaior, I'm not a native speaker. – Eiríkr Útlendi Aug 6 '14 at 22:17
Interesting! I've only ever heard it in Kanto (keeping in mind my stays in other areas have been relatively short); I would hear きない (as in 来ない) occasionally while living in Gunma. The only time I've heard it in Tokyo was from a non-Tokyo-ite (grew up in Miyagi Prefecture). – Anonymous Aug 7 '14 at 1:16


When I was in Shikoku island, I remember some people used 「きない」, but that meant 「きなさい」 or 「きてください」, not 「こない」.

はよう、こっち、きない! (= はやく こちらに きなさい)

Seemingly this is used in Fukuoka and Oita, too.

I personally haven't heard きない which means こない, but I'm not familiar with dialects in Kanto region. No impression is my impression of that word.

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Looks like it's a Western Kanto thing.



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