So if you're saying "No, I dont live in Osaka" would you then be able to say いいえ大阪に住んでじゃない or do you have to say 大阪に住んでいません? Also if you can't just use it whenever, why not? Is じゃない reserved for talking about a verb, noun, etc. or is it just something that turns almost anything into a negative?

  • What resource have you been using? It would seem weird to me if it didn't cover it
    – Angelos
    Feb 9, 2023 at 8:36
  • Currently I am using a mix of duolingo and learning from native speakers over youtube and learning grammar and what is wrong with duolingo separately so at the very least, when duo gets it wrong, I am able to correct myself and know why things would be other ways. I know some of it is about memorization, but I also know there are some general rules for most words. Duolingo may cover it now, but they have also changed a lot so I would have to go do a lot of reading for some very non-specific answers. Its easier when things are spelled out for me Feb 9, 2023 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


じゃない is only for nouns and na-adjectives. (Na-adjectives are technically descriptive nouns, so you can say じゃない is only for nouns and noun-likes).

  • ✅私は学生じゃない。
    I'm not a student.
  • ✅この問題は簡単じゃない。
    This question isn't easy.

じゃない is an informal short version of ではない, which is a plain version of ではありません. All these three are for nouns and na-adjectives.

You cannot use じゃない to negate a verb or an i-adjective. A plain (non-polite) version of 大阪に住んでいません is 大阪に住んでいない, or more colloquially, 大阪に住んでない (でいる can contract to でる).

(If you are already familiar with explanatory-の, you can use じゃない in conjunction with it to effectively negate a verb: 大阪に住んでいるじゃない. But this ん changes the nuance of the sentence quite a bit, so make sure you understand what you are doing before using this pattern.)

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