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Can you use 〜なくて instead of 〜ないで in the following sentence without changing the meaning?


In general, what's the difference between 〜ないで and 〜なくて?

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Also you may want to include ~なく, ~ないし and ~ずに in the question. – Flaw Jun 20 '12 at 13:11
Which instance of 〜ないで? Are you meaning both/either of them? – istrasci Jun 20 '12 at 14:19
Might as well be both of them. But I figure it's the version of -ないで that is analogous to -なくて. – dotnetN00b Jun 20 '12 at 14:22

Peter Sells (1995) calls ないで a “verbal gerund” and なくて an “adjectival gerund”. When you have participial constructions, it does not make a difference which one you use, but Sells notices that only the verbal gerund can be selected by an auxiliary verb:

* 食べなくておいた (Sells 1995:287)

Similarly, when you want to use these forms adverbially as in your examples, you have to use ないで. You cannot replace it with なくて. If you do so, they will be interpreted as participial constructions.

何もしないで暖かくする (ambiguous)
'not do any activity, and keep the body warm'
'keep the body warm by not doing any activity'

何もしなくて暖かくする (unambiguous)
'not do any activity, and keep the body warm'
* 'keep the body warm by not doing any activity'

Other than that, I do not know of a difference.

Sells, Peter (1995) "Korean and Japanese Morphology from a Lexical Perspective" Linguistic Inquiry 26.2 MIT Press

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+1 for bibliography – Matt Jun 21 '12 at 4:54

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