Questions regarding the various words, particles, inflections, and constructions employed to negate a word or sentence from its positive form.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

34
votes
4answers
4k views

Is じゃないです equally correct as じゃありません?

Text books normally teach that the negative of です is じゃありません. However it seems very common to hear native Japanese use じゃないです. Is this slang or somehow less correct than じゃありません? Would it be marked ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

Does -ou / -you / -mashou conjugation have a negative form?

Does the -ou / -you / -mashou (the "let's X") form have a negative counterpart? For example, how do I say "let's not X" for the following?: 行こう 食べよう 寝ましょう As far as I can remember, the Japanese ...
24
votes
7answers
3k views

Difference between negative forms {-ず} and {-ぬ}

{-ず} and {-ぬ} are two alternatives to the negative form {-ない} / {-ません}. But I noticed that depending on the word, it's either {-ず} or {-ぬ}, although it seems like some words can take both suffixes. ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

The reality of answering いいえ to a negative question

tl;dr: when answering a negative question, can いいえ be used to affirm what the question states as a whole? I came to Japan at the age of six, and I guess I pass as a normal native speaker of Japanese ...
17
votes
3answers
967 views

The reason for using 何も+negative, but 何でも+positive

In one of the Japanese classes I attended, I've been taught that while we use 「何も出来ない」to say "He cannot do anything", to say "He can do anything" we use 「何でも出来る」 instead of 「何も出来る」. Why is there a ...
17
votes
2answers
471 views

Why is it なさそう and not なそう

"It seems there is none" is なさそう, which escapes the usual rule for 形容詞 (イ-adjectives), which says "drop the い and add そう". Is there a historical explanation for this exception? And does it have ...
14
votes
1answer
345 views

Why is the topic marker often used in negative statements (ではない, ~とは思わない)?

What function does は provide in statements such as 本ではない or 本だとは思わない? I notice the は after と is often left out, at least if a Google search for 思わない is any indication, but there still seems to be a ...
12
votes
4answers
484 views

To not have: 持っていません or ありません?

Whenever I go to the Life supermarket near my house, they ask me at the check out: ライフカードを持っていますか? (Do you have a Life [members] card?) I always respond with something like: いいえ、持っていません。 ...
11
votes
2answers
240 views

苦労せん is the contracted form of what?

I'm translating a manga in which one character use a very slangy or contracted way of speaking while the others talk more standard-like. I've already encountered the stem+ん as a short form the ...
11
votes
3answers
738 views

About the な part in negative imperative verb form (e.g. 飲むな)

In the Japanese version of "don't drink and drive" slogan, 【乗るなら飲むな】 (also 【飲んだら乗るな】), what part of speech is the な that follows the plain verb 飲む (or 乗る in the second variation) to form the negative ...
11
votes
1answer
747 views

ないで vs なくて How to correlate two or more phrases with negative verbs

Can you use -なくて instead of -ないで in the following sentence, keeping the same meaning? What's the difference between ないで and なくて ? 病気になると、一切化学薬品や抗生物質を使わないで、鍼や指圧や漢方薬で直します。風邪の時は何もしないで暖かくして、寝ているだけです。
10
votes
4answers
891 views

In what way is the negative form of a verb an adjective?

I was reading the wikipedia page on "predicate," where it mentioned that in Japanese, the negative form of a verb is an adjective. I thought that this was too expansive a statement to be true, but ...
10
votes
1answer
482 views

Is 「意味の分からなさ」 strange?

Since my recent question about 〜く+ある, I've been trying to learn more about the differences between 形容詞「無い」 and 助動詞「〜ない」. In other words, I'm trying to learn how the independent adjective nai and the ...
8
votes
3answers
464 views

What's the difference between 言わないでほしい and 言ってほしくない

What's the difference between 言わないでほしい and 言ってほしくない ? If the intended message is "I don't want you to say it" which of the two above would be more suitable?
8
votes
3answers
791 views

Why do we use 〜ないで instead of 〜なくて before auxiliary ください?

I was taught in college that the 〜ない verb conjugation behaves like an i-adjective, thus it has 〜く form, it takes 〜ければ for "if" scenario, it modifies the noun that follows it etc. Also, I know that the ...
8
votes
2answers
201 views

Is verb ending ない shortened to ん?

Off the top of my head I remember hearing these sentences, which I assume are just shortenings: すみません, 分からん 絶対許さん! Along with these two I've seen in sentence examples: もう我慢できん ...
8
votes
2answers
385 views

Difference between ~ざる and ~ぬ

A sentence from 五輪書: おのづから道の器用有りて、天理をはなれざる故か。 I found a question about ~ざる and ~ぬ on 知恵袋. The only answer claims that ~ぬ and ~ざる are both the 連体形 of ~ず and ~ざる is a "complementary" conjugation, ...
7
votes
1answer
265 views

<verb stem>+たかない

Is [verb stem] + たかない different than [verb stem] + たくない? What does it mean?
7
votes
2answers
392 views

Which verb receives a negation in a Japanese sentence?

I can say 歩いて渡る which translates to "to cross by walking". However, if I would like to say "I am not going to cross by walking, but by some other means", would I say 歩かないで渡る or 歩いて渡らない? There are ...
7
votes
2answers
381 views

What is the difference between 言うな! and 言ってんじゃねぇぞ?

1) What is the difference between 言うな! and 言ってんじゃねぇぞ!, in other words can we use them interchangeably at all times? 2) which is ruder?
7
votes
1answer
256 views

When is it appropriate to use [v] ないでくれ instead of [v] な?

Initially I wanted to compare the rudeness level of [v]ないでくれ。 and[v]な。 but since that may be a rather vague question: In what situation is it appropriate to use [v]ないでくれ。 but not [v]な。 ? In what ...
7
votes
1answer
212 views

Does it make sense to say [v]ませんでしたら instead of [v]なかったら?

I'm wondering whether it makes sense to say [v]ませんでしたら instead of [v]なかったら. When I googled for that conjugation there were very few results, but since there were results, I wonder if people actually ...
6
votes
3answers
830 views

What does the “〜やしない” conjugation mean?

In episode 76 of Fairy Tail, Gildarts said this to Natsu: 本気でそう思ったら、止めやしないよ。 (honki de sou omottara, tomeyashinai yo) Which was translated in the subtitle as: If that's what you honestly ...
6
votes
3answers
157 views

Having trouble parsing this triple negative sentence

In my JLPT practise book, there is this sentence, which is designed to test if one can track all the negations: その仕事{しごと}ほどおもしろくない仕事{しごと}はないのではないかと、私{わたし}は思{おも}った。 Up to の, I think it's saying, ...
6
votes
3answers
195 views

Let's not do this

I wonder how to interpret the following sentence: "The weather is bad so let's not go out?". Basically, I want to stay as literal as possible and not end up saying "let's stay home" or using "if the ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Difference between ~なきゃ and ~なくちゃ

I know what one of them is なくてはいけません and the other one なければなりません, I just don't know which is which, also a few example sentences would help a lot, thank you.
6
votes
1answer
576 views

Use of 〜ないものか with もうすこし/どうにか/なんとか

Do the following expressions: (もうすこし)上手にでき ないものか I wish I could get a bit better. (どうにか)直せ ないものか I wish I could somehow fix it. (なんとか)でき ないものか I wish we could somehow do ...
5
votes
2answers
181 views

Help to understand the ending verb “動かねーんじゃね”

Original sentence: アドビやら、お絵描き系のアプリは、誰かが実証しない限り、動かねーんじゃね? I can't understand the structure of the last verb. So far I understood that 動か(conjugated form) + ねー(negative particle) + んじゃ(???) + ね(question ...
5
votes
1answer
209 views

When did 全然 get restricted to the negative?

全然 means "completely" in Chinese, and also in Classical Chinese. Why does 全然 only go with negative conjugations in Japanese? My teacher also says that you cannot say とても with negative things in ...
5
votes
1answer
261 views

Is this は or はいる: ~わかってはいるものの

たばこは体に悪いとわかってはいるものの、なかなかやめられない。 If it's は, does omitting は change the meaning in verb-te~はいる? And also, could you talk about what いる is doing? If it's はいる, in what sense would you describe はいる's ...
5
votes
1answer
245 views

Meaning and usage of suffix -まい

According to the WWWJDIC, the verbal suffix まい can mean: (1) probably isn't (doesn't, won't, etc.) (2) don't (doesn't) intend to; intend not to (3) must not; (when used in an imperative ...
4
votes
4answers
705 views

Is it unusual to have the ga particle with a negative verb?

In saying that something doesn't exist, is it unusual to use the ga particle (が) and a negative verb? For example, would "(Uchi ni) Terebi ga arimasen" be an unusual way to say "There isn't a TV (at ...
4
votes
4answers
395 views

Use of Amari when an adjective is in the negative

I am following a book called "Teach Yourself Japanese", right now I am on using adjectives. In there, there is an example: Igirisu no jamu wa totemo oishii desu. Which I can understand in terms ...
4
votes
3answers
220 views

How can I use できない and しまう? I'd like to apologize for not being able to do something

I'd like to apologize for not being able to do xyz. Rather than just saying 「すみません、何々ができません。」, could I say something like: 何々ができなくてしまいます。 Or is しまう always used with a positive te-form verb?
4
votes
2answers
175 views

不被下候: When was it common, and what were the rules?

In a shrine graffito written in 1559, two carpenters complain: 其時座主ハ大キナコスデオチヤリテ一度モ焼酎ヲ不被下候 'At that time, the high priest (stingy bugger!) gave us not even a drop of shochu to drink.' The form ...
4
votes
1answer
138 views

Which is the proper way to say “I don't X”?

I thought if you say "I don't smoke cigarettes" that would be "[Watashi wa] tabako o suimasen". But I just saw something that said it would be "tabako wa suimasen". Are they interchangable? Is there a ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

How to say “no thank you, I don't want / need it”?

Sometimes I am offered something but because I'm just a beginner I don't know what verb they used. I know the proper way to say "no" is to answer with the negative form of the verb the other person ...
3
votes
2answers
392 views

Trouble parsing sentence with どうしても and a triple negative

I am using an easy-to-read VN to get some grammar experience. The following sentence has been troubling me for about half an hour now: 生徒会に入ったら、どうしてもこっちを着なきゃだめなの? The topic of 着る is 制服 if that ...
2
votes
2answers
229 views

~ないでいる verb ending

This is dialogue from a book I have, where a doctor is talking about a patient: 気分が極端に変りやすくなっていて、自分で自分をコントロールできない。神を呪うかと思うと、神に祈る。呪う自分と祈る自分と、絶えず入れ替っていて、どっちが本当の自分か判断できないでいる。 My question is about ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views

Conjugation of negative auxiliary 〜ぬ

〜ない functions the same way as an adjective, and so it can be conjugated to 〜なかった, 〜なくて, and so on. As far as I can tell, this is not case for 〜ぬ. Does it function as a standalone suffix, or is it able ...
2
votes
1answer
418 views

Double negatives in Japanese

To be clear, I'm talking in this case about double negatives originating in Japanese, not ones that are being translated into it. When I was in college, one of my professors taught the class to use ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Negated questions

I am not sure what the response to the following question would be. 今のオリンピックは勝ち負けを気にするあまり、スポーツマンシップという大切なものをなくしているのではないか。 I am thinking it might be はい、なくしている。 but then again with the ...
2
votes
1answer
161 views

Negative adjectives directly modifying a noun

If I use an adjective to directly modify a noun how exactly would I conjugate it into the negative form? For example これは おおきい やま です。 -> This mountain is large If I wanted to say "This mountain is ...
2
votes
1answer
280 views

How to say a double negative in Japanese

My Japanese friend asked me whether I believe in an afterlife. I wanted to say, "I don't believe, but also I don't not believe." My point is that while I do not believe, I like to keep an open mind. ...
1
vote
1answer
391 views

What does いなきゃ mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Difference between ~なきゃ and ~なくちゃ What does いなきゃ mean? thanks in advance
1
vote
1answer
224 views

use of word suffixes with 事

In this sentence I've a some doubts"自分 の 事し 考えぬ には、この 氷 は 溶かせない" I think a translation would be" Think to yourself of this matter of you, this ice never will melt" But it's just a guess. I can ...
1
vote
0answers
89 views

I'm confused about the English title for the movie “Kaze tachinu” [duplicate]

風立ちぬ has just been released where I live. I'm a bit confused about the translation of the title, "The Wind Rises". I would have thought the title should have been translated "The wind doesn't rise." ...