I am still not so clear with the difference between '.....しないで.....’ and '....しなくて....' . Could you please explain them for me, and give me some examples?


2 Answers 2


しないで is an order to not do something. しなくて means "to not do is...".

これをしないで! don't do that!

これをしなくてもいい。 you don't have to do that.

これをしなくても本当に大丈夫ですか? is it really ok for you to not do that?

I forgot to mention the following.

しないで can also be used to connect 2 statements in a similar fashion as しなくて but usually used in slightly different ways. I would say that しなくて tends to be more of a cause and effect while しないで to connect rather unrelated statements.

I didn't eat my breakfast and went to school.

I didn't eat breakfast and now I'm hungry.

  • 1
    It's not that simple... alc.co.jp/jpn/article/faq/03/2.html ・ nihon5ch.net/contents/bbs-study/old/mie-bbs.cgi?s=30
    – chocolate
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 2:29
  • So basically, when not used as imperative, しないで is a plain "and", while しなくて indicates more of a "because" relationship. Would that be correct to say?
    – obskyr
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 1:58
  • @obskyr not necessarily. It depend on context. しないで could also be replaced with "then" for example. Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 2:04
  • Ah, right, what I meant was more along the lines of a being a plain sequence.
    – obskyr
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 2:05

しなくて because I do not

しないで without I do

  • 2
    It's not that simp((ry
    – chocolate
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 8:31
  • @chocolate しないで without で合ってると思うが。 Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 8:43
  • 1
    This answer would be fine only if it referred to しなくて being able to make a simple compound sentence like 小さくなくて赤い (red and not small).
    – user4092
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 8:55

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