1

I'm learning about the uses of て-form, one of them is to joining sentences like

家に帰ってTVを見る
I come home and I watch TV

but if I want to apply a negative sense to the て-form, do I have to use the ないで or the なくて? Does either one work?

家に帰らないでTVを見なかった
I didn't come home and I didn't watch TV

家に帰らなくてTVを見なかった
I didn't come home and I didn't watch TV

2

If you just want to list two things you did not do in parallel, you can use :

家に帰らなかったし、TVも見なかった。
I didn't return home, and I didn't watch TV, either.

The te-form doesn't work well for this purpose because it implies some relationship between the two actions.

家に帰らないでTVを見なかった is a rather unnatural sentence, but it would mean "I didn't watch TV without returning home." (or more literally, "Not-returning-home-and-watch-TV, I didn't do it.") Effectively, this is a rather convoluted way of saying "I watched TV only after returning home".

家に帰らなくてTVを見なかった usually means "I didn't watch TV since I didn't return home." This is an example of te-form for reason. It's better to say 家に帰らなかったのでTVを見なかった, though.

家に帰ってTVを見なかった almost certainly means "I didn't return home and watch TV". A sentence like this treats the two actions as one set. You need only one negation (ない/not), both in Japanese and in English.

Some (more natural) examples:

箸を使わないで食べなかった。
箸を使わずには食べなかった。
I didn't eat it without using chopsticks. (= I never failed to use chopsticks when I ate it.)

バスが来なくて学校に行けなかった。
I couldn't go to school because the bus didn't come.

See:

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.