0

Context: https://streamable.com/det3c2

初デートで本屋はないだろ

what is the meaning of this は + ない?

2

Not sure if you've noticed but there is a similar phrase that occurs in your video clip prior to the line you are asking about.

A: そんなに笑うことないだろ

B: だって、お前初デートで本屋はないだろ

These two lines employ similar grammar structures. 「することはない」means there is no need to do something. See this answer for example. You didn't ask about this construction so I guess you may be familiar with it.

The second one, which you are asking about, is structurally and semantically similar.「~はない」structurally tells us the thing being discussed doesn't usually happen or shouldn't happen. A similar phrase is「それはない」, see デジタル大辞泉(小学館):

相手の言動を強く非難・否認するときに用いる言葉。それはいけないよ。それはだめだよ。「今日になって行けないなんて、其れはないでしょう」

Also this structure is often followed by 「でしょう」「だろう」. Your line at issue can be rendered as

(Because) nobody goes to a bookstore on a first day.

If you look at the first structure, it shares the same pattern. Although in English there is a difference between "You shouldn't do that" and "You don't need to do that," in Japanese that distinction is more refined and context-dependent. I feel like it behooves this discussion to quote Tsuyoshi Ito's words from that answer:

I wrote “on its face value” because if someone chooses to say that something is unnecessary, it is often because he/she actually thinks that something should not be done. (source)

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.