I ran into ~んとする the other day and I think I get the hang of how it works and what meaning it conveys, but it seems eerily similar to that of ~うとする.

I know Japanese have a lot of different ways to say the same thing, so I wonder if there's no other difference apart from conjugation between these two. In other words, I wonder if the following examples mean the same:

見る → 見らんとする
見る → 見ようとする

1 Answer 1

  • 見んと (<見むと) is more literary/archaic and can be more bookish than 見ようと.
    (You don't say 見らんと)

  • 見んとする (<見むとする) * consists of: み (未然形, imperfective form of 見る) + archaic volitional auxiliary ん (む) + particle と + verb する
    * You might also encounter an archaic verb す used instead of する , as in 見んとす.

  • 見ようとする consists of: み + volitional auxiliary よう + particle と + verb する

A few examples:

せんと, 送らんと, 書かんと, 言わんと... ← literary
しようと, 送ろうと, 書こうと, 言おうと... ← modern


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