Not sure if this is a dumb question but how is the nai form of a verb related to the verb masu stem + nai/nakatta (from aru)? For example : taberu becomes tabe (masu stem) + nai and same for many others. However in the case of ayamaru we have ayamaranai so ayamara + nai (here the stem would be ayamari actually).

I suppose there s some historical reason or some inherit one of how japanese verbs work explaining this.

  • Is it that you're noticing the difference between ichidan and godan verbs? They are also sometimes called る and う verbs, or other names, depending on the resource. You want to know the history of how those two verb classes came to be?
    – Leebo
    Jul 20 at 23:39
  • If you're talking about syntactical relations, refer to this: Verb classifications by japanese learners. If you want to know the history (as @Leebo mentioned), I'll defer that to someone more knowledgeable.
    – istrasci
    Jul 20 at 23:52
  • Thx for ur comments. I know the difference between ru and u verbs. However here i ask for the relation between these two classifications with the nai form of the aru verb (if there is one ). As it seems to me that there is one. Supposetly a historical one
    – RZA Chris
    Jul 21 at 7:22
  • I’m still not clear about what this question is asking. Is it asking how ない came to be used as both the negative form of an independent verb that means something exists, namely ある, and the negative marker of other verbs?
    – aguijonazo
    Jul 21 at 9:20
  • 1
    This may be asking the same thing, from the opposite angle: Why isn't ある's negative form あらない?
    – aguijonazo
    Jul 21 at 10:06

how is the nai form of a verb related to the verb masu stem

It isn't. The "nai form" of a verb is entirely dependent on the "Mizenkei base", whilst the "masu form" of a verb is entirely dependent on the "Ren'yōkei base". Incidentally, the mizenkei base and the ren'yōkei base have the same pattern for ichidan verbs, but they are unrelated.

how is the nai form of a verb related to … nai/nakatta (from aru)?

If you are new to these "verb bases", you can read up about them on Wikipedia. To summarise, the forms/suffixes of verbs are only compatible with specific verb bases. The negative, passive and causative forms/suffixes are only compatible with the mizenkei base.

Actually, the verb "aru" is an exception that doesn't actually have a mizenkei base, which might explain why the negative form is simply "nai". As for the examples you used, the negative form can be summarized as follows:

Verb Mizenkei base + Negative Suffix
aru N/A (exception) nai
taberu tabe tabenai
ayamaru ayamara ayamaranai

It's worth noting that since "aru" has no mizenkei base, it cannot be conjugated into the passive or causative forms.

  • Thx for the great answer. Have the mizenkei and the renyoukei base the same root historically or have they developed independently?
    – RZA Chris
    Jul 22 at 11:23
  • I don’t know actually, most of the information about the topic is written in Japanese research articles, in Japanese. It’s rare to find information about the bases in English. It’s a good question to start here on Japanese stack exchange though! Somebody might have read about the history of the bases. Jul 25 at 0:04
  • got it :) I will ask that question today !
    – RZA Chris
    Jul 26 at 8:48

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