I found it twice. First in a song:


And then the title of a manga:


じゃない alone is for negation (no happy end, no playing). What I can't understand is the の at the end of the sentence... what does it stand for?


Is ending question sentences with の really feminine?

の(だ)/のです with a rising tone are the abbreviations of の(だ)か/のですか。

(The combination だか isn't really used in everyday life to the best of my knowledge).

They turn the sentence into a question which, combined with じゃない make it a tag question, as you can see in the links I posted in my comments.

遊びじゃない? 遊びじゃないか。 遊びじゃないの(か)?

It's a game isn't it? It's a game right? You're playing aren't you?

Without the rising tone (or か), じゃない is used to deny what precedes it. の/のだ/のです have many different meanings (look it up on this site), the most common ones being adding an explanatory and/or exclamative tone to the sentence.


It's not a game. It' not a game! (What the hell are you doing, ) it's not a game! (I can't believe you take it so lightly, ) it's not a game (you know?).

The sentences in の are often used to answer the implicit question "What is happening?" : "Well, what's happening is..."

誰かが来た? (Gathering information after coming home).

Someone came?

誰かが来たの? (Seeing 2 cups of coffee on the table).

(What happened,) someone came?

I don't feel comfortable enough with those grammar to go further into details, I would advise you to look for informations about the differences between だ/です VS の(だ)/のです and (だ)か/ですか VS の(だ)か/のですか.

EDIT : Just to be clear, here are the different forms :

Simple         Abbreviated         Using の         Abbreviated using の

猫だ。          猫。               猫なのだ。         猫なの。

猫です。                         猫なのです。       

猫()か。       猫だ?/猫?         猫なの()か。      猫なのだ?/猫なの?

猫ですか。                        猫なのですか。      猫なのです?

  • Just to see if I got it right (there are too many cases!) いつもその本はハッピーエンドじゃないの。 could be translated in something like: 'those books always have a happy ending, haven't they?' or 'those books always have a happy ending, you know?'. Is it correct?
    – Clover
    Mar 6 '15 at 16:22
  • I think so yeah, or "His/her books always..." if you were talking about an author I guess.
    – Alox
    Mar 6 '15 at 16:27
  • 1
    だか is used, but only in subordinate clauses.
    – user1478
    Mar 6 '15 at 19:43

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