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I want to say to my friend "don't eat". What's the difference between these two:

1)

tabenai de 
食べないで

and

2)

taberu na
食べるな
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  • @Chocolate, they're hardly related. – Ko32mo Aug 20 '17 at 7:29
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    Did you read the 「止めて」vs「止めろ」,「~て」vs「~ろ」,「助けて」vs「助けろ」 part? Your examples are just the negative versions of those. 食べないで is the te-form of 食べない, and 止めて, 助けて are the te-form of 止める, 助ける. 食べるな is the imperative form of 食べない, and 止めろ, 助けろ are the impeartive form of 止める, 助ける. Their difference in nuance is the same: 食べないで, 止めて, 助けて are softer/feminine and sound more like a request, while 食べるな, 止めろ, 助けろ are direct, strong, more informal. – Chocolate Aug 20 '17 at 8:52
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Taberuna (食べるな)is rather a masculine wording and tabenaide (食べないで)is rather a feminine wording.

The two are both impolite and rude in formal settings. In informal settings, for example, to your very close friends, you can use them.

edit) 食べるな may sound still rude. I advise you to use 食べないで or 食べないでね to your friends, even if you are a man.

  • even rude among friends? with friends, are they the same in terms of strongness, casualty level, connotation? – Ko32mo Aug 20 '17 at 7:29
  • even rude among friends? with friends, are they the same in terms of strongness, casualty level, connotation? – Ko32mo Aug 20 '17 at 12:25
  • たべないで is softer than たべるな because it's rather a feminine wording. It may not be rude among friends. If the food went bad, たべるな ! is a natural choice. Among friends, you may choose dialects such as 食べんどいて、食べんでね、食べんで取っといて、食べたらあかん、食べんどき etc. – user1118 Aug 20 '17 at 13:06
  • where can I read about these dialects? what are they called? – Ko32mo Aug 20 '17 at 16:30
  • @Ko32mo: I have no idea where you can get a Japanese dialects' dictionary. What I wanted to say is this: 食べるな is the most simple sentence. So it sounds very direct and rude. 食べないでください。is a safe and formal expression to refer it. If you want to say it to your friends, I advice you to use 食べないでね or 食べないで. They are safer words when you don't use dialects. – user1118 Aug 21 '17 at 3:28

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