I encountered a question in my JLPT n1 practice book , and I got really confused because I was sure my answer was right but when I look at the answer sheet the answer is really far from what I have learned so far.

the question was

その日、私はホームに入ってきた電車に飛び乗った。ところが、電車は反対方向に走り始めた(      )。

my answer was 4 but it says on the book its 2. Up until now I know that I have to put の after verb+た or verb +る in order to place ではないか.

and the sentence "私はホームに入ってきた電車に飛び乗った。" really confuse me Does it mean " I took the train that just arrived" ?

can someone help me with this one?

  • similar question but , I still need to know when to use the right pattern in answering this types of question and I believe there is still someone that can clarify this point.
    – Johji
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 16:04
  • Unfortunately, there aren't really any rules behind it. You just have to think about the meaning behind each one. The other options may not make sense in context.
    – Blavius
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 16:23
  • Actually, there is.....FYI:link I am sorry I will be busy today and there is a clear difference...may be you can check why just by reefing through the link. Thank you.
    – user7644
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 19:24
  • FYI, There is a huge research only for the collocation のではないか link, Here, のではないか is dealt as the collocation of ( negation ( ない ) of のだ + questioning closing particle か ). And it is said it became to denote to "demand the further information" and then it became "I think..., I guess...." as I uploaded above.
    – user7644
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 20:13
  • 1
    @choco I never imagined someone will post an exact question but that was a relief knowing someone got confused by this similar question. Thanks btw.
    – Johji
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 12:57

1 Answer 1


This [verb] + ではないか is an exclamatory phrase which denotes the speaker's surprise or accusation.

[*]電車は反対方向に走り始めたではない。 (Ungrammatical)

(To my surprise,) The train started to run in the opposite direction!

It is not that the train started to run in the opposite direction.

(I wonder,) Didn't this train start to run in the opposite direction?

4 is incorrect, because the following sentence says 後悔した, which indicates he realized (rather than just wondered) something bad in the second sentence.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .