I want to say

Borrowing something from someone and not returning it by exploiting unawareness of its owner is the same as thieving.

My attempt is as follow. Is it grammatically correct and natural?


  • By naturalness, do you want the sentence sound right in your blog, or in conversation, or somewhere else? Aug 4, 2016 at 12:06
  • @broccoliforest: For general purposes that are not limited to the space, time and energy. :-) Aug 4, 2016 at 12:20
  • 1
    Because I feel your sentence will give off a little too overbearing vibe if used in daily conversation as it is. Aug 4, 2016 at 12:30
  • This is a VERY stilted sentence, there's already a phrase for this called "permanently borrowing". I'd suggest changing it to "Permanently borrowing is the same as stealing".
    – bcloutier
    Aug 4, 2016 at 13:51

2 Answers 2


There is no obvious grammatical error, but it took several seconds before this Japanese sentence began to make sense to me.

無自覚 usually refers to not having noticed at all. 貸したことに無自覚 sounds to me as if the original owner unconsciously lent something to someone, which is not the case in this context. When the owner consciously lent something in the past but is not concerned about that fact for now, then it's better to say "気にしていないこと", "(一時的に)忘れていること", "覚えていないこと", etc.

  • 物を人に借りたきり、貸主が気にしていないことを悪用して返さないのは、泥棒と同じだ。
  • 物を人に借りたまま、貸した人が忘れているのをいいことに返さないでいるのは、泥棒と同じだ。
  • 物を人に借りたのに、貸した側が覚えていないからと返さないでいるのは泥棒と同じだ。

In English we already have a phrase that means what you're outlining in the title. It's called "permanently borrowing", and it can refer to borrowing something and never giving it back, or just outright stealing. If the concept does not already exist in Japanese, it might make more sense to co-opt its usage:


Permanently borrowing is the same as stealing.

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