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In the sentence (found in Kanji in Context's workbook)

事故を起こさないよう、万全の注意を払った。

I assume 起こさないよう is the negative short form of 起こす followed by よう. But I can't find an explanation, or other occurrences, of such a construct. According to google's translation tool, the sentence means something like

I paid perfect attention so as not to cause an accident.

So, よう following the short form of a verb indicates goal/purpose? Is that correct? If so, could you point me to a reference, or to other occurrences?

  • What do you mean by "negative short form"? What would be the "long form"? – Leebo Oct 26 '18 at 15:38
  • Maybe I should have said "dictionary form". The long form would be 起こしません. – Stephane C Oct 26 '18 at 15:41
  • I've heard this form many times so I believe it is commonly used, and definitely not a mistake. Unfortunately I don't have a formal reference to prove it at the moment. – Locksleyu Oct 26 '18 at 16:00
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I always assumed this was the same as ように.

EDIT: as the comments say, よう without the に is more formal.

https://japanesetest4you.com/flashcard/learn-jlpt-n3-grammar-%E3%82%88%E3%81%86%E3%81%AB-you-ni/

  • That would work nicely, indeed. I see nowhere mention of に being optional, though... Could it be that I'm obsessing over a typo? As I just started working on it, I don't know how frequent typos are in this book. – Stephane C Oct 26 '18 at 15:47
  • I don't think it's a typo, I think the に is optional. – ignorantFid Oct 26 '18 at 16:00
  • The answer to this question strengthens your point. – Stephane C Oct 26 '18 at 16:10
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    @StephaneC Using simply よう rather than ように is a little more formal. – Aeon Akechi Oct 26 '18 at 17:17
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“よう” indicates purposes, and it’s directly translated as “so as to~”.

In the sentence “事故を起こさないよう“, “起こさない” is the negative form of “起こす“, followed by “ない(means “not”). The following word ”よう” means “so as to”.

So, the sentence as a whole is translated as “so as not to cause an accident”. To say “so as not to do something”, you can say the negative form of any verb followed by “ない“, and put “よう“ at the end.

For example,

  1. 風邪をひかないよう、気を付けて下さい。 =So as not to catch a cold, please take care of yourself.

  2. 試験で失敗しないよう、たくさん勉強して下さい。 =So as not to fail in the exam, please study a lot.

“よう“ sounds quite polite and formal, so “ように” is more common to be used in conversations ( both words have exactly the same meaning ).

Hope it helps!

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