4

I want to say:

I don't think cats are ever friendly.

The only "ever" I know is using ことがある but that doesn't seem appropriate. My attempt without the "ever" is:

猫が友好的じゃないものと思います。

Btw, have I used もの correctly to make this into a statement about cats in general?

  • I'd turn "cats are never friendly" around and say "no cat is friendly" with 猫はみんな〜〜 which is pretty colloquial. – oals Dec 5 '16 at 7:44
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I would personally suggest using 「決{けっ}して~~ない」 to say "not ~~ ever ~~" as in:

「ネコは決して人{ひと}なつっこい生{い}き物{もの}ではないと思{おも}います。」

「ネコは決して人なつっこくないと思います。」

「友好的{ゆうこうてき}」 sounds pretty stiff, so I changed it to 「人なつっこい」.

「じゃない」 is OK even though I used 「ではない」. 「じゃない」, however, can replace 「ではない」 only in my first sentence. In the second sentence, you cannot say 「ひとなつっこくじゃない」 or 「ひとなつっこいじゃない」.

(「じゃない」, for some reason, is very popular among J-learners, but using it is not as easy as many of them seem to think. For instance, if you said 「人なつっこいじゃない」, it has an affirmative meaning --"friendly, eh?". the negative form of the i-adjective 「人なつっこい」 is 「人なつっこくない」. One cannot say it using 「じゃない」. 「友好的じゃない」, however, is grammatical because 友好的 is a na-adjective.)

I would not feel too comfortable if you used 「もの」 instead of 「生き物」 to talk about animals.

  • Thanks. So I think 決して can only go with a negative predicate, right? What if I wanted to ask "Do you think cats are ever friendly?". Would I be back to using ことがある for this? – user3856370 Dec 4 '16 at 15:02
  • You could use 「ことがある」 if your emphasis is on the FREQUENCY of cats being friendly. – l'électeur Dec 4 '16 at 15:11

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