hi i was wondering why なくwas used in this sentence

例えば これが俺ではなく 葉山なら

  • This looks like the start of a sentence fragment: “for example, were this not me but Hayama”
    – A.Ellett
    Sep 27 '20 at 12:05
  • 1
    Bit of a stretch to call that a sentence. Is there more to it? Are you thinking なく is the end of the sentence? Or the whole phrase? If it were all one phrase and you used ない then これが俺ではない葉山 would be "this Hayama, who is not me" which would be quite a weird thing to say. Sep 27 '20 at 12:05

This is a sentence fragment, not a complete sentence. Since we’re missing the context, the best I can suggest is that this is expressing

for example, were it not me but Hayama

In これが俺ではなく, the くform here of ない lets you know that the speaker is in the midst of expressing a partial idea completed by 葉山なら, but what’s being said about 葉山 has not been expressed at all as far as we can tell without further context.

footnote: I should add that my translation above is perhaps a bit too loose. A more technically correct translation would be

for example were it Hayama and not me...

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