Why <開こうとしない> can't be used in the second option?

Is it so because the cap is inanimate object?


  • 1
    The lid isn't trying to open, is it?
    – Angelos
    Feb 17, 2017 at 17:11
  • I think it would be better to say why you think it COULD be used, so we could correct any underlying misunderstandings. What is your understanding of the おうとする construction?
    – Kurausukun
    Feb 17, 2017 at 18:00
  • @Nothingatall that's right - "no matter how many times I try to open the lid, it remains sealed" Feb 17, 2017 at 18:01
  • @Kurausukun found this in my exercise textbook during studies, i.imgur.com/PiPD8Lz.png Feb 17, 2017 at 18:03

1 Answer 1


A) このジャムのふたは、いくら開け「よう」としても「開かない」

B) このジャムのふたは、いくら開け「よう」としても「開こうとしない」

C) このジャムのふたは、いくら開け「ろう」としても「開かない」

D) このジャムのふたは、いくら開け「ろう」としても「開こうとしない」

First of all, there is no usage as 「開けろう」in Japanese. The choices C & D are incorrect.

Second, the lid is no human (or even it does not have a life, just a object). So the lid does not have own consciousness. 「開こうとしない」 means "someone does not want to open". But object does not have own consciousness. That's why 「開こうとしない」is incorrect.


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