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37

I read an interesting paper on this very topic a few months ago. Let's see…ah, here it is: A Discussion of the Polite Negative Verb Forms masen and nai desu (PDF, Japanese) This paper by Kayoko Tanaka was presented at the eighth annual conference on Japanese language education research at Nagoya University in 2010. Ms. Tanaka, using sentences drawn from a ...


18

The -ou/-you form does have a negative counterpart, but it's considered rather literary, and in any case never used in a cohortative meaning ("Let's X"). That form is the なかろう form, e.g.: 食べなかろう, which means "[He/I/etc.] probably wouldn't eat." and is equivalent to the more colloquial form "食べないだろう". I think the most common simple way to express the meaning ...


16

In the modern form, ず is only used as an adverbial (食べずに出る leave without eating). ぬ can replace ない. In 文語, the grammar used in writing until the reformations after WWII and still at least partially in many forms of poetry, songs, and very formal documents, the use of ず and ぬ was/is grammatically constrained in a manner no longer present in modern Japanese. ぬ ...


13

According to Tae Kim, there is a negative volitional form, but it is archaic and formal, so you're better off using the modern expressions given by the other answers. However, it does show up every now and then (トキ in 北斗の拳 seems to like using it), and it's a pretty simple conjugation, so it's worth knowing. To form the negative volitional, you add まい to ...


11

It's a colloquial, contracted form for ~~たく"は"ない, '(you) wouldn't want to~~'. Just as you say あまくみてはいかん to mean あまくみてはいけない.


11

Your "usual rule" is incomplete. It should be: drop -i if resulting is a single mora in length, add -sa add -sou. Hence, nai: na na + sa na + sa + sou --> nasasou. atui: atu (not applicable) atu + sou --> atusou.


11

To answer that, I think we first have to look at one of the more important roles of topic markers (in any language that has them): marking contrast. The topic marker as a marker of contrast Look at this conversation for instance: A: 一番好きな中華料理か? たぶん麻婆豆腐だと思う。 My favorite Chinese dish? Probably Mapo Doufu, I guess. B: そうか。俺はちょっと辛いのが苦手なんだ。 I ...


11

Rather than memorizing edge cases like this one, I think the key here lies in understanding the difference between も and でも in this context. In positive statements using も, the grouping is explicit. In other words, when you say 何も, だれも, どれも, and so on, it's clear through context or prior statements what "every" includes: ピアノ、ギター、ドラム…彼はどれ{○も/×でも}上手に弾ける。 ...


11

-ぬ is an archaic form of -ない. I suspect its use in song lyrics has more to do with fitting the word into the right number of syllables; as far as I know, there is no difference in meaning. -ず, on the other hand, indicates that one action took place without or in the absence of another action (the one with -ず). For example, 待たずに先に行く: to go on ahead without ...


11

Actually, you've already got the right answer! The verb in question is する, and one of its negative stems (未然形) is せ〜, as in せず, せぬ, and as you've just discovered, せん. The other negative stem of する is the well-known し〜. Note that these are not interchangeable: **せない is ungrammatical, as is **しず. The only verbs that have this extra negative stem are する and ...


11

This is a pair of polarity items. One appears in positive contexts, the other in negative: イギリスの ジャムは とても おいしいです。 イギリスの ジャムは あまり おいしくありません。 Every language has words like these. For example, in English: I like pie, too. I don't like pie, either. Here, too and either are polarity items. In our positive sentence we use too, and in our ...


10

It's the strongest, tersest form of negative. It always follows a plain form verb. I have no idea of the origin; it's pretty old though:) Regarding the origin, it goes back to at least the 8th century in this form: 活用語の終止形に付いて、「~するな」と禁止する意をあらわす。現代口語に継承されている。 大和道は雲隠れたりしかれども吾が振る袖をなめしと思ふな(万葉集、筑紫娘子) こちふかば匂ひおこせよ梅の花あるじなしとて春を忘るな(拾遺集、菅原道真) Source: ...


9

As others have said, this is probably really ~やしない, which is transmutation of ~はしない. What this suffix does is usually one of two things: It makes the verb a topic (with は) and then negate it. This is used to bring up the event described by the verb and then saying it won't happen (or isn't happening, have never happened - you get the point). From the ...


9

Other samples from this character in your manga would be helpful to confirm this, but my guess is that せん is equivalent to しない (and possibly derived from せぬ, see Zhen Lin's comment below). Then, 苦労せん means something like "don't worry" or "don't fret". This is really part of the group of dialects from 'Western Japan'. In particular, [九州弁]{きゅうしゅうべん} uses せんで ...


8

This is not a very helpful answer, but: I think you are needlessly complicating a fairly simple grammar rule by looking for an "explanation". There might be some deep and obscure etymological link between the 'も' and 'でも' of 何も/誰も/いつも, but knowing it won't further your understanding of the rule itself. It would be exactly the same as asking "why is there a ...


8

You can use these sentences in two ways. One is to use it as in "I don't want you to say x (literary)". Another is to use it as in "I resent what you already said". So, what's the difference? In the first case, 言わないでほしい is an explicit request. 言ってほしくない merely states that you don't want the other guy to tell anybody, and the request is only implied. As a ...


8

This was a big problem for me as well (in the reverse direction, that is)! In this kind of yes/no questions, the asker forms a hypothesis and then asks whether this is true. If it's true, you say yes, else no. 車持ってないの? -> 「あなたは車を持っていない」は正しい? -> 正しくない -> いいえ、もっています もう料理はいらない? -> 「あなたはもう料理はいらない」は正しい? -> ...


8

I am no longer sure about the reason why 食べなさ sounds strange. In the answer below, I argued that 食べなさ “the degree of not eating” would be grammatically fine but semantically not useful in any context. However, as dainichi commented, this explanation is questionable. For example, different people have different “degrees of not eating vegetables”; some may ...


8

The ん negative ending is a contraction of sorts of classical negative ending ぬ, precursor to modern ない. It's still pretty common. As illustration of this, the Microsoft IME gives 食べん as a valid conversion option after typing in taben, or 飲まん for noman. Note that する with the negative ん is not しん, but instead せん, as again the negative ん is from classical ぬ, ...


7

Arguing about whether certain words "are" something or other is missing the point in this context, I think. We do not classify words based on some innate, a priori nature that we discern within them. We classify them based on behaviour. And there is no a priori set of standards for that classification either: we have to choose our own. It's completely ...


7

Modern Japanese is very different from archaic Japanese (and some modern formal written Japanese, which is itself rather archaic) in regard to the topic at hand. Initially there were distinct conjugations of verbs and adjectives known as predicative and attributive. Predicative (also called conclusive) was used for the final verb in a sentence, and was ...


7

There is some Deep Magic going on here. Let me try to offer a theory which, hopefully, will not muddy the waters further. The ~て form of verbs (both positive and negative) implies a decision point. That is, at some point in time, you choose to do something or not to do something. Once this choice is made, it is irreversible. Consider 食べてください. In effect, ...


7

動か is the conjugated form of the verb 動く ねー is the colloquial version of the negative auxiliary verb ない ん is the colloquial version of the nominalization particle の じゃ is the colloquial version of the auxiliary verb で (the dictionary form is だ)+ the particle は ね (or ねえ, ねぇ or ねー) is also the colloquial version of ない (but the ね/ない here is an adjective not an ...


7

How about parsing it as this: 「『その仕事ほどおもしろくない仕事はない』のではないか?」と、私は思った。 ... reading ~~のではないか? as a rhetorical question. You can say 「~(の)ではないかと思う」(or more colloquially ~~(ん)じゃないかと思う) to mean "I suspect that~~" or "I think it probably is~~".


6

The answer to this question is almost always no. (Why have more than one way to say the same thing, if there really is no difference?) In technical terms, 言うな is an imperative form, whereas 言ってんじゃねえぞ is a slightly indirect request, of a similar form as 行くんだ (except in the negative). There's also some subtle difference between, say, 言うんじゃない and 言ってんじゃない, I ...


6

Though these are not used so much: 行かないでおきましょう/行かないでおこう 食べないでおきましょう/食べないでおこう 寝ないでおきましょう/寝ないでおこう/起きてましょう/起きてよう


6

Since this question was asked, I've gone around and asked about a half dozen Japanese people the following question: If you ask someone 「もう食事はいらない?」 and they answer 「いいえ」, do you think they want more or not? The result: Turns out it's just as vague as English with as much individual response. Most people said you would have to know more about the ...



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