I just learned about how to say "don't" in Japanese.

So far what I understand is:

You use stem form + ないて to say "don't do something"

However, I am confused with the usage of 聞かないでよね in sentence:

恥ずかしいこと 聞かないでよね

Does not it have to be 聞きないでよね instead of 聞かないでよね? Because it from u-verb 聞く and then become 聞き before it can be formed also into polite form with -masu ending

  • You use stem form + ないて to say "don't do something" ← Where did you learn that?
    – user4032
    Oct 30, 2017 at 9:21
  • thejapanesepage.com/grammar/chapter_seven/shinaide they are actually said masu form then remove the "masu" word. But isn't masu form without the word "masu" is the same with stem stem form?
    – Husain
    Oct 30, 2017 at 9:28
  • 2
    That website's explanation is pretty darn lazy. There are so many good resources out there for Japanese grammar, you can delete your bookmark to that site. Basically, the explanation they gave only applies to one class of verbs, and 聞く belongs to another class. Surely this type of question has been answered before, but after a brief search, I'm not sure which would be best to mark as it being a duplicate of.
    – Leebo
    Oct 30, 2017 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


恥ずかしいこと聞かないでよね! is correct, because negative forms turn the -u into -a. 聞く -> 聞かない -> 聞かないでください, because we use the -te/-de form to ask somebody to do something (-te kudasai), which goes like:

恥ずかしいことを聞いてください。 Please ask me embarrassing things!

恥ずかしいことを聞かないでください。 Please don't ask me embarrassing things!

http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/complete/negativeverbs http://www.guidetojapanese.org/requests.html

-masu form is OK though, 聞く ー> 聞きます ー> 聞きません, but to ask something while keeping in the -masu form goes into humble and honorific form territory, so don't worry about that now.

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