I'm sorry if this is a duplicate question (I bet it is), I didn't really know what to search for.

猫を描く、犬を描かない。 (I draw cats, I don't draw dogs.)

How do you say that sentence without having to repeat 描かない? So it would be 'I draw cats, not dogs.'

  • I think you can search for "ellipsis in Japanese". Actually this is a very vast topic, and cannot be covered in any short answer. Rules for ellipsis in Japanese a very different than those in English, and very complicated as well. Just it is possible that some repeatings could be avoided in one language and could not in other, and vice versa. Japanese prefers ellipsis of all words except verbs. – firtree Feb 9 '15 at 4:01
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    I have a book somewhere that talks about English speakers needing to learn not to be afraid of repeating themselves in Japanese. I wonder if I can find it… – snailplane Feb 9 '15 at 4:27
  • @snailboat +1 I'm a Japanese, and learned in high school to be (at least a little) afraid of repeating oneself in English. – Yosh Feb 11 '15 at 6:35
  • In this context, you can just use "猫は描くけれど、犬は描かない". The use of "は" highlights the contrast between cats and dogs. – Yosh Feb 11 '15 at 6:38
  • As you can see from all the confusing answers, the short answer is "you don't". – oldergod Feb 13 '15 at 0:16

It's tricky in Japanese.
for example

猫を描くが、犬はその限りではない。 ("その限りではない" is the same as "not" or close to it)

I'm a Japanese native speaker myself.
But, I have no knowledge of another way to do it without repeating "描く".

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Depending on how attached you are to the original meaning, you could go with something like "Instead of dogs, I draw cats": 犬のかわりに猫をかく。

Or go into why it is you don't draw dogs: 犬が好きじゃなくて、猫を書く。

But I'm not sure you're going to find a way to retain the simplicity and precise meaning of your sentence and not repeat yourself.

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First of all, I am sorry to say you have not yet understood correctly how Japanese verbs conjugate.

These are English sites for the explanation of Japanese verb conjugation forms.



Let me continue by saying that the sentence you originally wrote is incorrect.

猫を描く、犬を描きない。 (I draw cats, I don't draw dogs.)

it should be 猫を描き、犬は描かない。

I think you are not yet familiar with the six patterns Japanese verbs take.

In your first case, "I don't draw dogs" can not be translated to "犬を描きない”。

The basic verb 描く "draw", needs to be changed to "描か” for the 未然形.

The Japanese site, http://www.hello-school.net/harojapa006.htm explains:

種類 ( type ) - 基本形 - 語幹 - 未然形 - 連用形 - 終止形 - 連体形 - 仮定形 - 命令形

五段 ( type ) - 読む - 読 - ま/も - み/ん - む - む - め - め

the verb "描く” is a 五段活用 and conjugates as above.

Forming the ない (negation) takes the 未然形 ( future form ) as its stem, and thus it needs to be changed to 描ない。

My personal recommendation for you is, after you master these conjugations, you'd better go to your original question and consider how you could master Japanese systematically.

PS : The answer you are asking for, is, actually, 犬では無く、猫を描く。

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    Is this 描く as えがく or just かく? Or does it matter? Please put enter furigana for those who don't know. – istrasci Feb 8 '15 at 5:19
  • Sorry I thought I was asked by a questioner. Actually, I don't know the questioner's intention, since he/she is using the word "draw", I guessed it to be 描く(えがく(meaning "draw)). We say 描(かく)sometimes with the same meaning, "sketch, draw", but I think 描く(えがく) is more frequently used especially in schools. – Kentaro Feb 8 '15 at 8:53
  • by a questioner ---> by the questioner. sorry. – Kentaro Feb 8 '15 at 9:00
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    Instead of simply saying that "描く" is wrong, could please just tell why instead of linking to the (extensive) list of japanese verb conjugation ? – Urukann Feb 9 '15 at 2:12
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    Instead of simply saying that "描く" is wrong,>>「ただ単に"描く"が間違いだ、というのではなく、」 could (you) please just tell (us) why>>「どうしてなのか(=どうして間違いなのか)を教えてくれませんか?」 instead of linking to the (extensive) list of japanese verb conjugation? >>「日本語動詞活用の(外部)リストにリンクするのではなく」 とおっしゃっているようですが。。。 – user1016 Feb 9 '15 at 5:18

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