Don't say it, if you don't want to.

You don't have to say it, if you don't want to.

How do I convey these in Japanese correctly?

My idea is 言えないこと言ってないもいいです。

But I am really confused by verb conjugation here.

Don't say it = iwanai? ienai?

Don't want to say = ienai? But then it would mean 'I can't say'....

Could you please help in both translation and explanation for these two conjugation forms.

1 Answer 1


lit. If you don't want to say it, you don't have to say it.

Some comments:

  • The "don't have to"-form is ~て+もいい, i.e. you have to form the ~て form of the i-adjective 言わない, which is the correct negative for the verb (and not 言ってない).
  • The English leaves out the verb the second time, which can't be done in Japanese.
  • なら is just one option for "if" (which I think fits best). Other ways to say it would be


  • 言えない means indeed "can't say" Your (slightly corrected) sentence means

    Things you can't say, you don't have to say.

  • "言わない" is not an adjective but 言う verb 未然形 + ない 助動詞. "言わなく" would be 言う verb 未然形 + ない 助動詞 連用形.
    – Eric
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 7:15
  • I think i get it now! 説明ありがとうございます!
    – myasha
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 7:33

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