I've been going on a Japanese course and I don't understand the grammar behind 'dewa'. I've seen it being used in 私はおちゃとこひがすきではありません and 私はにほんじんではありません and I don't completely understand its use in grammar and definition. Is it the negative desu?

2 Answers 2


You are correct that ではありません is the negative form of です. At this stage I think you should just understand it as a single unit rather than looking at では and ありません separately. But See this link.

You will also see じゃありません (じゃ is a contraction of では) and じゃない (ない is the informal form of ありません) with decreasing levels of formality.

Note that it can be used to negate nouns and na-adjectives (as in your two examples), but not i-adjectives and verbs.


First「私はおちゃと"こひ"がすきではありません」should be 「私はおちゃと"コーヒー"がすきではありません」.

「私はおちゃと"コーヒー"がすきではありません」= negative expression of「私はおちゃと"コーヒー"がすきです」

To make the sentnce negative, we change the phrase "(すき)です" into negative one.

"(すき)です" + "ない" => "(すき)です+ない" => "(すき)ではない"

You must log in to answer this question.