2

What's the difference between 〜くない and 〜くありません? Both are added to an i-adjective (イ形容詞, verb type adjective) to make it negative. For example:

  • 寒くない
  • 寒くありません

But what's the difference? Is one more polite or more formal than the other?

Is there a term to use to tell them apart. E.g. One is polite Negative etc.

  • What is a "verb-type-adjective"? – l'électeur Apr 14 '15 at 12:16
  • Same with じゃない vs. ではありません。If you want to use the former in a more formal situation, just say 寒くないです。 – kiss-o-matic Apr 14 '15 at 14:19
  • @kiss-o-matic Is there a term to use to tell them apart. E.g. One is polite Negative etc. – big_smile Apr 14 '15 at 14:53
  • @l'électeur As I understand it, words that end in い are verb-type-adjectives. (I think) – big_smile Apr 14 '15 at 14:54
  • @l'électeur some people use terminology "adjectival verbs"/"adjectival nouns" vs. "い-adjectives"/"な-adjectives". I've seen that distinction a lot in lessons on basic grammar. – scriptin Apr 14 '15 at 15:23
6
  • 〜くない (casual)
  • 〜くありません (formal)

It's basically that simple. So saying 寒くありません is more formal than saying 寒くない.

However, I feel that saying 寒くありません is a bit stiff even if you are trying to be polite. Instead, saying 寒くないです sounds more natural and is also more polite than leaving off the です.

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.