I just read this lesson on imabi and i'm confused.

"To make a polite negative phrase, you have two options. You can simply add です to ~ない. When you do this, you aren't actually saying "is" again. In this case, です's meaning is just showing politeness. Or, you can use ~{では・じゃ}ありません. If you remember from Lesson 8 that だ comes from である and that it will be important to know this later on, the time is now. Polite conjugations using it are "more polite" than just using です. So, they are best used with people whom you should show more respect."

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    「じゃありません」, for some reason, is way overrated in Japanese-as-a-foreign-language. Not many native speakers actually use it at least between Tokyo and Nagoya. I do not think I have ever said it in my life.
    – user4032
    Jul 26, 2015 at 11:56

2 Answers 2


It means you can either use ではありません or じゃありません to express a negative polite phrase.

So, 私は医者ではありません and 私は医者じゃありません are both fine.


You can make a polite negative version of a noun or na-adj by either adding 「です」 to 「ない」 (making 「ないです」) or saying 「ではありません / じゃありません」.


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