I've decided to start practicing speaking by answering random (sometimes ridiculous) questions from the internet. My first step is to try and translate them from English to Japanese as best I can, since it helps thinking of the answer.

So I came across this question and cannot find a way to translate it.

What's the longest you have gone without sleep?

I thought of 睡眠なし and 寝ずに and 最長 and 時間がかかる, but I cant know for sure if these make sense and I cannot put it all together. I would really appreciate if anyone could tell me the best way(s) to do it.

  • Your question and the title you have given it don't quite match ("longest you have gone" vs. "longest one can go"). You might want to edit so that answerers know which phrase you're asking about.
    – Nanigashi
    May 8, 2020 at 22:00
  • 1
    Thank you. I have edited it.
    – MJHawke
    May 9, 2020 at 17:59

1 Answer 1


I thought of 睡眠なし and 寝ずに and 最長 and 時間がかかる

There is one word redundant. I mean you need to choose either「睡眠なし」 or 「寝ずに」.

「最長」 is appropriate to "the longest~" though,「時間がかかる」is awkward. It literally means "It takes time". But this time, you need an interrogative pronoun :「何」since grammatical form is what-question : "What's the longest~"

Also you should replace 「がかかる」since it is rather asking "how much is the longest time you have been in the sleepless state" than "How much is the longest time you have used for not taking sleep".

For example, 「過ごす」 or 「いられる」, etc. should work well with either「睡眠なし」or「寝ずに」but not both.

  • 2
    Ok, thanks for the help with those clarifications, but that is precisely why I couldn't get to a final answer. And the question still stands. Would you perhaps know how to say that whole sentence in Japanese?
    – MJHawke
    May 9, 2020 at 17:57
  • 1
    @MJHawke Okay, you got stuck with it and can't compose the sentence on your own, do you? 何時間かかる is awkward, so 何時間いられる is one of the possible choice. And you should not use both 睡眠なし and 寝ずに in one sentence. 最長何時間寝ずにいられました?is one the possible choice. May 10, 2020 at 0:04
  • Thanks a lot for your help @kimi Tanaka ;) I don't quite understand いられるin that sentence, but I'll keep it in my head until it makes sense. :D
    – MJHawke
    May 11, 2020 at 15:00
  • Is it perhaps the potential form or いる? As in: "how long could you be without sleep?"
    – MJHawke
    May 11, 2020 at 15:08
  • 1
    @MJHawke You're welcome. Sorry about not being aware of what you got stuck with it. Yes. いられた is potential form of いる. The conjugation of 過ごす goes 過ごせる。i.e. 何時間寝ずに過ごせる(or いられる)。means "How long can you go/be without sleep." May 11, 2020 at 15:22

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