So far, I have always considered じゃないか to be a tag question meaning "...isn't it?" with varying nuances depending on context. However, I have seen hortative + じゃないか recently, in this short dialog (A and B are dining together):

(メドック is Médoc, a kind of French wine)

I suspect that this じゃないか turns the sentence into some sort of negative hortative ("won't we drink?") kind of like saying いきませんか? However, I'm not sure how exactly じゃないか modifies this sentence. Does strengthen B's encouragement? Does it have a sense of "urgency" ("we really should have one more Médoc) or does it the opposite, "softening" the sentence?

  • I remember reading this is in a N2 grammar book a while back. It is used to exhort a particular action (to oneself or others). It is quite strong and considered masculine speech. I think it roughly translates to: why don't we...; We had better... right? Weblio has this definition: 勧誘の意を表す.
    – Robert
    May 29, 2017 at 0:34
  • The last sentence looks like: Ok, let's go. But before that, let's have one more for the road. (Another drink before we go).
    – Robert
    May 29, 2017 at 0:42

1 Answer 1


This じゃないか denotes a suggestion, "Won't we (drink) ~?", "Shall we ~?" or more casually, "Why don't you ~?"

While this is common in novels, this sounds a bit pompous or overly classy, and is rarely heard in reality.

Since じゃ is colloquialism for では, naturally ~ではないか also exists:


Basically I expect to hear a sentence like this only from fictional noble people, historical politicians making a public speech, or such.

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