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 not large" could I say

これは おおきくない やま です or これは おおきくありません やま です

or do those two examples above sound unnatural relative to something like

この やま は おおきくない or この やま は おおきくありません



You can say これは大{おお}きくない山{やま}です; it is perfectly natural.

However, you can't say これは大{おお}きくありません山{やま}です.

The reason behind this is that polite 〜ます forms don't have a 連体形{れんたいけい}, or in more English terms, polite things can't modify nouns.

For example, you can say 食{た}べる人{ひと} to mean "a person who is eating". However, you can't say 食{た}べます人{ひと} to mean the same things, since polite forms don't work when modifying nouns. Similarly, you say 大{おお}きい山{やま}, not 大{おお}きいです山{やま}, and 大{おお}きくない山{やま} rather than 大{おお}きくありません山{やま}.

  • 2
    Since when is これは大きくない山です perfectly natural?? It is grammatical but it sounds quite unnatural.
    – user4032
    Jan 1 '14 at 22:56
  • 2
    I am not a native speaker, I should add. I'm just commenting that it is grammatical; the only reason why it is unnatural is the existence of 小さい.
    – ithisa
    Jan 1 '14 at 23:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.