Here are the two sentences:



My guess is that the first is

Please say to your friend "Do not write in my book"

and the second is

Please tell your friend to not write in my book.

The second is more asking the person to explain it in their own words. The first is asking them to just say that quote.

Is this guess correct?

  • 1
    Where did you find the two sentences? Neither makes sense.
    – user4032
    Feb 17, 2017 at 2:44
  • Why dont they make sense? Do you mean you can't understand the meaning or?
    – Tyler H
    Feb 17, 2017 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


Your guess is mostly correct.


This sentence sounds like you are reporting direct speech, because 書かないで is a rather casual way to say don’t write. To convey what your friend should be told without actually quoting anyone, you may use the negative imperative Vる+な form (which is not rude in this construction) or いけない.


Please tell your friend not to write in my book.


Please tell your friend he is not allowed to write in my book.

Your second sentence is also acceptable. An extreme literal translation of this sentence could be ‘tell your friend what you should tell him so that he does not write in my book’.

By the way, あなたの友達に doesn’t seem very natural to me (but it is gramatically correct for sure).

  • Thanks, I came up with あなたの友達 just for the example sentence. What would you say instead?
    – Tyler H
    Feb 16, 2017 at 6:17
  • 2
    I’d say it’s rather obvious that 友達 refers to the friend of the person you’re talking to. And given that the sentence is not very formal (you couldn’t say this to a professor for instance) I expect you’re talking to another close friend. In this case just 友達に would be the way to go. To be more polite, why not say お友達に本で書かないように言ってくださいませんか。
    – user14602
    Feb 16, 2017 at 6:37

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