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As I'm learning Japanese with my coworkers in Japan (and they learn English), I go for lunch everyday with them as agreed. So in the morning when I ask:

今日、ランチに行きたい? (Wanna go for lunch today?)

It is almost a formality since we agreed to go, but just checking whether they have time and are not too busy. But I've gotten it corrected a couple of times and told I should say this instead:

今日、ランチに行かない? (Won't we go for lunch today?)

It feel strange asking in a negative way so I'd love some deeper explanation about it. Unfortunately my coworkers English is even worse than my Japanese, so I can only blindly follow what they tell me.

So, why would be the latter preferred? I am sure if I understand the basics of this it'd be a lot easier to remember.

marked as duplicate by Chocolate, Community Jul 24 '18 at 3:09

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  • Thanks for the link, but from what I read there it is even more baffling since it seems I should be using 〜たい instead of 〜ない: If you use a non-negative version, the question tends to sound like you are plainly asking/confirming someone's existing intention ("Do you want ~?" or "Are you going to ~?"). ない signals it's a suggestion; you're trying to change someone's mind by introducing some good idea. => I am planning/confirming someone's existing intention. – Me - Jul 24 '18 at 2:45
  • well, yes, but as that link hinted, 〜たい question also implies a total lack of knowledge, that you are seeking an answer to. This is wrong in the case of offering an invitation. 〜ない questions, which have as their purpose invitation are more natural. In English "Do you want to become a teacher?" is seeking information and clearly not invitational, while "Do you want to have lunch?" is clearly invitational, but in Japan this difference is clarified by the ending, as the link should have specified. – ericfromabeno Jul 24 '18 at 2:57
  • I believe by non-negative they mean 行く, not 行きたい, in this case. – Leebo Jul 24 '18 at 2:59
  • "In English "Do you want to become a teacher?" is seeking information and clearly not invitational, while "Do you want to have lunch?" is clearly invitational, but in Japan this difference is clarified by the ending, as the link should have specified" well that is the perfect answer, which IMHO is not clear in the linked question. But it is clear as well in this answer you linked later: japanese.stackexchange.com/a/33107/30734 ありがとう! – Me - Jul 24 '18 at 3:07

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