1) Is the plain "ja nai" after a verb grammatically correct?

   aru ja nai?

   wakatta ja nai?

2) Why use ja nai, why not a negative form of a verb :

   aru ja nai? --> nai?

   wakatta ja nai? --> wakaranakatta?

What's the difference?

  • Are you sure what you're hearing/seeing doesn't have an ん after the first verb? あるん じゃない? わかったん じゃない?
    – istrasci
    Oct 28 '17 at 16:09
  • Maybe if someones talking about the verb itself, treating it like a noun.
    – Tirous
    Oct 28 '17 at 17:47

あるじゃない{HLLLL} (ない{HL})means "Look / Wow, there's (something)!".

あるじゃない{HLLLLH}? means "By the way / You know, there's (something), right?".

あるじゃない{HLLLHL} means "It's not ある! / Shut up! Don't say ある!".

あるじゃないぃ{HLLLHLH}? means "What? You mean, it's not ある?".

(だから)あるんじゃない{HLLLLL}(ない{HL})means "(that's why) there's (something), no?".

あるんじゃない{HLLLLLH}? means "I guess there's one".

あるんじゃない{HLLLLHL} means "It's not that there's one (but ...)".

あるんじゃないぃ{HLLLLHLH}? means "(I thought there was but) you mean, it's not the case?"

  • can you provide more natural examples? what's "......, it's not ある?"
    – Koodi
    Oct 29 '17 at 9:32
  • Then, how about "Pardon? Did you say "it's not 「ある」"?"?
    – user4092
    Oct 29 '17 at 18:34
  • ありえないほど細かいですね。素晴らしいです。
    – keithmaxx
    Oct 30 '17 at 3:33
  • I forgot to mention that the questions expressed with ないぃ? are often accompanied with の and become ないの? instead. This is probably for the purpose of earning an extra mora to indicate intonation.
    – user4092
    Oct 30 '17 at 7:30

You are misinterpreting the meaning of the phrases. The translation is:

あるじゃない? = there is, no?
わかったじゃない? = you understood it, right?

That is, it is a positive statement with a question whether it is true or not. You can parse it in two parts: わかった = you understood, じゃない = is not, where the first part functions as a adjective where the adjective describes a state of "you" in this case, so it is as if you are asking "is not (adjective)?"

Also, the natural way of saying a phrase like that is to add an ん after the verb. You can say without the ん but that becomes a bit "stiff"/"hard". Most likely the source where you heard this actually said: あるんじゃない?

  • 1
    how about my 1st question?
    – Koodi
    Oct 29 '17 at 1:47
  • Yes, it is gramatically correct, but normally people would add the ん between the parts as it makes it easier to pronounce.
    – a20
    Oct 29 '17 at 1:58
  • and in this case it's very similar to "ne", right?
    – Koodi
    Oct 29 '17 at 5:39
  • @koodi あるんじゃない is not interchangeable to あるじゃない (which is "see? / voila, there is!"). ね is not either with those two. They are all different.
    – user4092
    Oct 29 '17 at 7:43

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