I'm currently practicing to use japanese adjectives by writing down sentences with antonym pairs, and I came up with the following sentence.

"My room isn't dirty, but it isn't clean as well."

Unfortunately I find it difficult to find an appropiate grammatical structure which can be used to translate this sentence. I have been looking around the internet for a bit, but I can't seem to find a satisfactory answer. The closest I got to an answer was this post, but it isn't really usable in this context. Can somebody help me to find an suitable grammatical pattern for this particular sentence?

  • Thanks for all the useful answers! Learned som new grammar structures in the process :D
    – Gesan
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 15:23

3 Answers 3


There are some phrases. For example, "Aではないが、Bでもない", "Aではない、でもBでもない", "AでもBでもない".

Your sentence is translated like "汚くないが、きれいでもない", "汚くない、でもきれいでもない", "汚くもきれいでもない", etc.

  • +1. I would highlight the way to attach も after a negative い-adjective (なくも). Besides, how would you say "as well"? My hunch is to go with くもある/でもある, but it sounds like using である, which bears a specific (and rather tough) intonation...
    – Right leg
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 13:17
  • Yes, it is 汚くもない, not 汚いでもない. I used でもない to include the nuance of "as well". Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 15:00

A fancy way to say it could be :

It's not that it's dirty, but it is not clean either.

A more simple way :

It's neither clean nor dirty.

  • 2
    汚いわけないないけど ← 「ないない」って、なにかの書き間違いではありませんか? きれいでもない、汚いでもない ← 通常は、「きれいでもな 、汚もない」になると思うのですが、いかがでしょう?
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 12:53
  • @Chocolate 重複した「ない」は気づかなかった、ありがとうございました。 「きれいでもなく」はしゃべる時も使いますか?「きれいでもない」はもっと聞く気がしてたけど、間違っている可能性も高いです。 Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 0:26
  • はい、確かに、「し」がついて、「きれいでもないし 、汚くもない。」なら、しゃべるときによく使うと思います。「でもないし~」は、「でもなく~」より口語的だと思います。
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 4:02

I would go with 「~ないけど、~でもない/~くもない」. Works in the majority of cases:

My room is not clean, but it isn't dirty either.

Outside is not loud, but it isn't quiet either.

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