I've read that people usually change ない to ねー to make it more manly, like:

したくないよ becomes したくねーんだ

So basically i often heard questions ending with ない but have not heard anyone end a question with ねー

Hence this question: can we use ねー as a question?


[There's a party tomorrow]

明日、行かない? converted to 明日、行かねー?

what about this: 明日、行かねーんだ?

  • I've seen this used as questions in games and manga, but outside that I don't really have a proper answer. So I'll let someone with a better answer, answer.
    – phirru
    Jun 21, 2011 at 5:03
  • 2
    “People usually change ない to ねー” sounds like an exaggeration to me. For example, some male speakers just do not use ねー. Jun 21, 2011 at 13:39
  • @Tsuyoshi ok i'll keep that in mind
    – Pacerier
    Jun 21, 2011 at 14:39
  • Related: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/3746
    – user458
    Jan 11, 2012 at 20:14

1 Answer 1


As you say, ねー is a (very) informal, rather masculine, way of replacing ない at the end of words.

Works for both verbs:

行かない → 行かねー

and い-adjectives (which are kind-of-verbs anyway, but let's not get into that debate here):

危ない【あぶない】→ アブねー

in fact it also works with other "-a" kanas. E.g:

ヤバい → ヤベー

Adding のだ/んだ as you do in your example is only warranted if you are making it a strong assertion: 行かねーんだよ!

And frankly, unless you spend your Saturday evenings loitering on the sidewalks of Sentâ-gai, you probably don't want to speak like that.

As a question, it works just the same as the ない form (sort of a loose equivalent to the "isn't it" form in English):

行かないか? → 行かねーかー?

... is "grammatically" correct (with or without "明日"), but rare (sounds really rough/rude to me). Probably because ねー is a fairly colloquial form, which is only acceptable because it refers to yourself (and thus "俺が行かねー" is OK), but when you are asking the question form, you are using it on somebody else. If that person is standing in front of you, no matter how close you are, this could sound rather rude. Only acceptable context I can think of, would be referring to an abstract third-party:


This aside, the question form of ねー would mostly be used for rhetorical questions:

行かねーかー/行かねーかなー ("Hmnn... Should I go?")

or "semi-rhetorical" questions like:

アブねーなー?/アブねーかなー ("isn't it kinda dangerous?")

  • what about just this: 明日、行かねー? (rising intonation i suppose..) is it possible.., weird.., or just plain wrong?
    – Pacerier
    Jun 21, 2011 at 5:37
  • As I said, it's not wrong (and therefore possible), the right intonation would be quite hard to pull off without sounding weird. And this most definitely would be reserved to very very familiar language (probably wouldn't even use it on a girlfriend). As often with colloquial Japanese, you are better off staying away until you've heard it enough that you are confident about its use.
    – Dave
    Jun 21, 2011 at 5:40
  • Yeah, I agree with Dave. Sounds too rough. As a rule, if you haven't mastered the feel for a phrase, just like "fuck" in English with non-natives, you should avoid it.
    – crunchyt
    Jun 21, 2011 at 6:31
  • 2
    A related note, not worth a full answer: turning ない into ねぇ is also dialectical: in the Tôhoku area, the sound "あい" is often rendered "えぇ". For example, "行かないか?" would become "行がねぇが?". However, I wouldn't suggest you try that unless you already have a strong Tôhoku intonation…
    – Axioplase
    Jun 21, 2011 at 7:17
  • Was 'other "か-family" kanas' a typo? I can't see what it means. I guess you meant to say that this ai -> ei sound change works in other places outside i-adjectives, usch as みたい -> みてー. Is that it?
    – Boaz Yaniv
    Jun 21, 2011 at 9:00

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