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A native Japanese speaker said to me "見たことが ないから ~です。" to mean "because I didn't watch it, …." (we were talking about a movie).

As I have learned the sentence structure using から is "[reason: informal sentence] から [result: sentence]", I felt this sentence was too complicated. So I asked her if it was possible to say "見なかったから ~です。", as 見なかった is the informal version of "did not see". However, she refused and said that would sound strange.

So my questions are: why is the informal past negative form unnatural here? Are there other informal sentences that cannot be used in front of から? What is the pattern? Do the same rules also apply to other compound sentences (like と おもう) and other situations?

  • Are you implying that 「見たことがない」 is formal? If so, it is not at all. – l'électeur Jan 2 '17 at 15:34
  • No, that was not my intention. It was rather the difference between the complex structure 見たことがない (involving 4 words/particles) and the simple conjugation 見なかった (a single conjugated verb). – Martin Nyolt Jan 2 '17 at 15:38
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見たことがない and 見なかった are different in meaning. So the grammatical structure of 〜から has nothing to do with the problem.

The meaning of 見たことがない is "have not seen" or "have no experience of seeing".

On the other hand, 見なかった is simply "did not see (at a certain opportunity in the past)".

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