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Saw this in my textbook. The translation is "to preserve food from decay". I get it, but I am not clear about the ず after 腐らせる. Where is it coming from?

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-zu is a negative particle. It is equivalent to the negative -nai. kusarasezu ni means "without letting [it, the food] rot".

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    Perhaps it would be good to have a comparison of ずに with なくて, ないで, ないように etc. – Flaw May 27 '12 at 5:15
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ず is actually a 助動詞 to make a verb negative. It originates in classical Japanese. In earlier times, 知らず was written as 不知 (same as in classical Chinese) literally, not+know.

Frequently used is 残らず、知らず、せず(する)

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