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Some examples of what I'm trying to convey:

  • I have never heard that song before.

  • I have never heard of Miyazawa Kenji

  • I have never heard of that before?

  • I've never heard of that store?

What verb should be used? Is there a common form I can adopt? Is there an equivalent phrase in Japanese?

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Watching anime makes you familiar with lots of forms. You probably know Japanese better than me, but as an otaku, I know more Japanese sentence forms than you do :) – hkBattousai Dec 13 '11 at 19:18
up vote 8 down vote accepted

It can be translated as 聞いたことがない


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Is this grammatical? 宮崎賢治は聞いたことがありません。 – Stuart Woodward Dec 17 '11 at 12:59
@StuartWoodward It may be grammatical, but sounds weird to me. It should mean "Miyasaki Keijin has not heard of (something)", but not "(I) haven't heard of Miyasaki Kenji.". – fefe Dec 18 '11 at 12:28

For "I have never___" you take the verb, put it in the past tense, then add ことがない or ことがありません.

The direct translation is something like "I don't have X experience" or "I've never done X thing"

So, for 聞く, we go:

聞く --> 聞いた --> 聞いたこと --> 聞いたことがありません

or to answer your initial question:


For "I've never heard of that store" you can't really use this expression, you'd have to say something more like:


"I don't know anything about that store"

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I think it would be acceptable to say you'd never heard about that store before: あの店のことを聞いたことがない。 There's two こと in there, but they're performing different jobs. – Questioner Dec 8 '11 at 5:35
@Dave Yeah that works too. I don't think it sounds repetitive, the usages are so different. – silvermaple Dec 8 '11 at 17:12
Thank you! Stack Exchange is such a powerful tool! – Myeong Dec 17 '11 at 3:50
What about yet? How would you say yet. As in i haven't heard the professors lecture yet? – Myeong Dec 18 '11 at 1:25
@Myeong You would add まだ before the verb; there may be other ways, but that's the easiest :) – silvermaple Dec 18 '11 at 2:15

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