4

その馬は立ち止まって動こうとしなかった。

その馬は立ち止まって動くとしなかった。

What's the difference?

9

Your first sentence is natural and makes sense. 「Volitional Form + としなかった」 indicates 過去の拒絶/過去の強い否定の意思 (past unwillingness or refusal). A few examples:

  • やめろといったのだが、彼らはどうしてもやめようとしなかった
    I told them not to, but they would do it anyway. (from Taishukan's Genius E-J Dictionary)
  • 彼は一部始終を話そうとしなかった
    He wouldn't tell the whole story. (from Obunsha's Lexis E-J Dictionary)

So your first sentence means:

その馬は立ち止まって動こうとしなかった
"The horse stopped and wouldn't move."


And.. your second sentence その馬は立ち止まって動くとしなかった sounds incorrect, I'm afraid. 「Dictionary Form + とする」 explained in this post is used in the forms such as 「そろそろ出かけるとしよう。」「さあ、出かけるとするか。」「そろそろ行くとする{わ、よ etc.}。」「さあ、始めるとするか。」 etc., meaning "I should get going (now)." "Shall we get going (now)?" "Let's start (now)." etc, but we don't use it in the negative and/or past tense form (×「動くとしなかった」×「出かけるとした」×「出かけるとしない」×「出かけるとしなかった」×「始めるとしなかった」 etc.)

 

-2

The first example is stating a lack of an attempt to action, while the second is a simple statement of a lack of action. It is all about describing intent vs just describing action/inaction.

馬は動こうとしなかった The horse did not attempt to move.

馬は動くとしなかった The horse did not move. The horse did not show any sign of moving.

A helpful answer to a similar post can be found here.

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