In the JLU chat, Flaw recently typed up some instructions printed on a Japanese product. Here's what they said:


It appears that is modified by two phrases:

  • 直射日光の当たらない "not in direct sunlight"
  • 涼しい "cool"

But they aren't joined by . It doesn't say 直射日光の当たらなくて涼しい. I can't find any information on joining two adjectives like this, without using . Is it grammatical to combine them this way? Is it different from using ?

I've seen forms like すごい高い before, but I thought that was just a non-standard way of saying すごく高い. This seems like it's different.

  • あたらない is not an イ-adjective.
    – istrasci
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 19:34
  • @istrasci This answer is related to what you just said. I know that 助動詞「ない」 isn't a 形容詞, but I thought it made sense to treat the word resulting from 未然形+助動詞「ない」 as an adjective because I thought it behaved like one. Is that where I've gone wrong?
    – user1478
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 19:41
  • 1
    Yes, it usually behaves like one, but not in this case. Actually, I can't really explain this except to say that 直射日光の当たらない is modifying 涼しい所, not 直射日光の当たらない and 涼しい modifying .
    – istrasci
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 20:08
  • I feel like this question stems from a misunderstanding. 背が高い格好いい人 is perfectly fine. This is because it's analyzed as 背が高い[格好いい人]. その人は背が高い格好いい is of course wrong (except perhaps with certain young people). With this knowledge you should see that ない behaves exactly the same. Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


Similar to @istrasci, I can't think of any other explanation except that 涼しい所 is being modified by 直射日光の当たらない, and that there isn't any "and" in this sentence, in this case I think the noun phrase 涼しい所 is being modified by the relative clause 直射日光の当たらない:

"A cool place [which/that] isn't exposed to direct sunlight"

On the other hand, I think 直射日光の当たらなくて涼しい would be:

"A place [which/that] isn't exposed to direct sunlight and is cool"

Which I think sounds more clunky in English, I think it might in Japanese too. (BTW, 直射日光の当たらない涼しい場所に保管してください is on ALC as "Store in a cool place avoiding direct sunlight", and I think it's pretty standard.)

  • I think I was still confused last time I read this answer, because the comment I left on it back then didn't make any sense :-) But thanks for explaining, I think I finally get it.
    – user1478
    Commented Nov 2, 2013 at 12:47

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