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So I encountered this sentence in a manga

泣きたい日もあるじゃない

and I thought it was weird but meant something along the lines of "I never feel like crying", because of the negation of 泣きたい日もある, which I understand as "There's (also) some days when I/you want to cry" (of course I'm imposing the first person pronoun, but you can change it accordingly).

Just to check, I looked up the translation of the manga, as well as used deepl.com and they both translate this sentence as "Some days you just want to cry", which is the opposite of what I thought at first!

I looked parts of the sentence up thinking this may be a usual grammar point but can't find anything. Could someone explain what's going on?

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I'm not sure if I actually learned this in my classes, but I hear and use this all the time. Imagine it as saying "There are days you want to cry, aren't there?". The じゃない is being used to ask for confirmation from the other person rather than negate the statement itself. To negate this sentence I would change the ある to ない, but in this context it sounds a bit depressed like the speaker feels nothing and doesn't even want to cry.

Here's a couple of short example dialogues that might help put it into more context.

なんで泣いている? Why are you crying?

得に理由がないけど、泣きたい日もあるじゃない? There's no real reason, but there are days you just want to cry, aren't there?

An example of negated 泣きたい

悲しいのに泣きたくもない I'm sad but I do not want to cry.

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  • Thanks I think this it! Do you have any clue as to why one would use も instead of, lets say, は in this sentence? Would it change anything? – Santiago Bosch Jun 15 at 0:31
  • I think perhaps the difference is in level of certainty/emphasis. In Japanese a phrase like [そんな]場合もある is used to mean things like "[that sort of] situation may arise", as opposed to something that definitely has or will happen. The も here helps include these "crying days" together with the "non-crying days", and makes it sound softer. A が would probably work okay here, but sounds slightly less "softened" to me (but I'm not native). – Micah Cowan Jun 15 at 22:24
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    は on the other hand would sound pretty forceful/emphatic. It emphasizes that there are days like that, and sounds like a refutation, as if it were in response to someone claiming that no such days exist. "No, there are too days where you feel like crying". :) – Micah Cowan Jun 15 at 22:25

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