There's a construction V+っこない which means something like "have no way of doing V".


There's no way you would understand.

Is it known what this construction originates from? I can't find any reliable information either in Japanese or English.


2 Answers 2


Assuming you are not asking for the historical origin, the uncontracted form of 'っこない' is 'ことない'. Your sentence becomes お前には分かることはないでしょう

こと means here something like event or situation, so ' V + ことはない' (more) literally means that the situation where V happens is impossible. Hence, the construction means 'there is no way ...', as you already see.


Among the posts linked in the comment, 逃げっこなし is basically the same (逃げることはなし) and the second っこ for reciprocal actions is different.


ことない mentioned in other answers is possible but has different meanings. Either a simple negative sentence or meaning that someone goes beyond a reasonable limit. For example,

そんなに怒ることないでしょう - You don't have to get that angry (about such small matters)

  • Wouldn't そんなに怒ることはないでしょう mean the same thing?
    – Simon
    Nov 27, 2021 at 23:07
  • @Simon Yes, that would mean the same. Also ..怒ることないでしょう would mean the same.
    – sundowner
    Nov 27, 2021 at 23:59

I’ve always thought っこない originates from ことない.


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