In Japanese class, we were always taught that the negative of 来{く}る is 来{こ}ない (not きない). In Japan, though, I've heard several native speakers use きない. I have two questions about きない.

  1. Who uses きない? People from rural areas? Rural Tohoku and Kanto regions? Is it part of a certain area's 方言?

  2. What impression does きない give? One of my native Japanese friends got made fun of for using it, so I imagine きない is thought of as quaint or maybe uneducated by some. (Personally, I like it, though).

Thanks so much!



When I was in Shikoku island, I remember some people used 「きない」, but that meant 「きなさい」 or 「きてください」, not 「こない」.

はよう、こっち、きない! (= はやく こちらに きなさい)

Seemingly this is used in Fukuoka and Oita, too.

I personally haven't heard きない which means こない, but I'm not familiar with dialects in Kanto region. No impression is my impression of that word.


According to here and here, this is common in [茨城]{いばらき} and [群馬]{ぐんま}. Also appearing in Saitama and Chiba.

These were the top two links googling in きない 来ない...

  • Thanks for the information! I also heard someone from Miyagi using it, so it seems pretty widely used, but perhaps it's mainly a (rural-ish?) Kanto phenomenon? – Anonymous Aug 6 '14 at 2:03
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    I cannot recall ever hearing it in Tokyo. And no one uses it in Hokkaido. (but I should warn you that I'm not a native speaker of Japanese). – virmaior Aug 6 '14 at 2:48
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    I've spent time living in Morioka up in Iwate prefecture, next in Utsunomiya in Tochigi prefecture, and lastly in Tokyo. Any time I heard きない as a verb form, it was 着ない. I never heard きない meaning 来ない. Though similarly to virmaior, I'm not a native speaker. – Eiríkr Útlendi Aug 6 '14 at 22:17
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    Interesting! I've only ever heard it in Kanto (keeping in mind my stays in other areas have been relatively short); I would hear きない (as in 来ない) occasionally while living in Gunma. The only time I've heard it in Tokyo was from a non-Tokyo-ite (grew up in Miyagi Prefecture). – Anonymous Aug 7 '14 at 1:16

Looks like it's a Western Kanto thing.



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