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Why is 失礼 used here? And what function does に take?

カラオケはあまり好きじゃありません。失礼の内容に断ってください。

First, I have no idea how the meaning „impoliteness“ should fit into this, with which jisho.org provides me http://jisho.org/search/shitsurei
Second, the “excuse” meaning was till now always connected to the verb suru „失礼します“.
Third, I don’t know how to meaningfully connect the phrase „失礼の内容“ to the verb „断る“ via the particle に. It makes little to no sense in my opinion should 断る take the meaning of „refuse“.
„To inform“ could work, but I can’t remember that I would ever have seen the particle に used in this way in such a context. Maybe „please inform (him/her) in the impolite details“ ?
I don’t know, I can’t beat sense into it.
I think I know what the sentence wants to tell me, but I can’t properly translate the sentence and therefore have no idea whether my vague interpretation is correct or not…

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    失礼の内容に-> should be「失礼のないように(=無いように)」
    – Chocolate
    Jul 7, 2017 at 16:34
  • Could you please post more context, including the text that comes before and after this quote, and what kind of situation is it? Jul 7, 2017 at 16:38
  • Person A asks Person B to go to Karaoke. The sentence in OP is an instruction which tells me to write a small dialogue in which I, well, apologize that I won't go to Karaoke because reason X (ultimately its because I dont like it).
    – Narktor
    Jul 7, 2017 at 17:16
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    Does your textbook really say 内容に? 「失礼のないように(=無い様に)断ってください」 would mean "Please decline the offer in such a way that you won't be rude", but 「失礼の内容に断ってください」 makes no sense.
    – Chocolate
    Jul 7, 2017 at 17:39
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    it says 失礼のないように yes. This one time I didnt doublecheck the kanji. Was it wrong? My deepest apologies if it was, sry...
    – Narktor
    Jul 7, 2017 at 17:42

1 Answer 1

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As pointed out in the comments section, the ないように in your sentence means 無い様に, not 内容に.

カラオケはあまり好きじゃありません。失礼のないように断ってください。

"You don't really like Karaoke. (lit. Please turn down the invitation in such a way that there won't be rudeness/impoliteness ⇒) Please turn down the invitation in such a way that you won't sound rude/impolite."

~のないように (= ~の(orが)無い様に) consists of: particle の + i-adjective ない + auxiliary ようだ (ように is its continuative form/連用形), and means "so that there won't be..." "in such a way that there won't be..." The 失礼 is a noun here.

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  • Thanks! My textbook says ように can be used in front of verbs and adjectives. ようだ is used like this according to the textbook: あの病院はホテルのようだ。 You've written: ~のないように (= ~の(orが)無い様に) consists of: particle の + i-adjective ない + auxiliary ようだ Is there any reason why you used ようだ in your explanation? Is ように regarded as a contracted form of よぅだに and is it possible to encounter this hypothetical long form in texts?
    – Narktor
    Jul 10, 2017 at 7:46
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    @Narktor ように is the continuative form (連用形) of the auxiliary ようだ. In other words, ようだ is the dictionary/ternimal form, and ように is one of its conjugated forms. So ようだ comes at the end (ホテルのようだ。) and ように is followed by 用言, verbs and adjectives. The auxiliaries ようだ and そうだ conjugate like na-adjectives, cf terminal formしずか - continuative form しずか
    – Chocolate
    Jul 11, 2017 at 3:17
  • Thanks! Follow up question: In my textbook I learned that な adjectives are transformed into adverbs by に suffix. Furthermore, I feel uncertain about terminology. I thought continuative form is the "connective" form like 大きくて、広い部屋です。 If thats the case, then I'd expect で as a suffix, like in 綺麗で、利口な女の子です。 So if this に transforms な adjectives into the continuative form, and this continuative form is something else than what I tried to demonstrate, what is it then? Thanks!
    – Narktor
    Jul 11, 2017 at 12:38
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    @Narktor Yes, na-adjectives have three 連用形(continuative/connective forms): 「だっ」「で」「に」. eg きれいだ conjugates to きれいだっ (as in the past tense form きれいだった), きれいで, きれいに. きれいで functions as the te-form, and きれいに functions as an adverb.
    – Chocolate
    Jul 11, 2017 at 12:55

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