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Questions tagged [negation]

否定. Questions regarding the various words, particles, inflections, and constructions employed to negate a word or sentence from its positive form.

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Why is the topic marker often used in negative statements (ではない, ~とは思わない)?

What function does は provide in statements such as 本ではない or 本だとは思わない? I notice the は after と is often left out, at least if a Google search for 思わない is any indication, but there still seems to be a ...
59
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7answers
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What is the difference between the negative forms -ず and -ぬ?

-ず and -ぬ are two alternatives to the negative form -ない / -ません. But I noticed that depending on the word, it's either -ず or -ぬ, although it seems like some words can take both suffixes. Some examples ...
21
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1answer
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ないで vs なくて: combining phrases with negative verbs

Can you use 〜なくて instead of 〜ないで in the following sentence without changing the meaning? 病気になると、一切化学薬品や抗生物質を使わないで、鍼や指圧や漢方薬で直します。風邪の時は何もしないで暖かくして、寝ているだけです。 In general, what's the difference between ...
15
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1answer
7k views

Difference between ~なきゃ and ~なくちゃ

I know that one of them is なくてはいけません and the other one なければなりません, I just don't know which is which, also a few example sentences would help a lot, thank you.
58
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4answers
17k views

Is じゃないです equally correct as じゃありません?

Text books normally teach that the negative of です is じゃありません. However it seems very common to hear native Japanese use じゃないです. Is this slang or somehow less correct than じゃありません? Would it be marked ...
25
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3answers
3k views

The reason for using 何も+negative, but 何でも+positive

In one of the Japanese classes I attended, I've been taught that while we use 「何も出来ない」to say "He cannot do anything", to say "He can do anything" we use 「何でも出来る」 instead of 「何も出来る」. Why is there a ...
13
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2answers
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Is verb ending ない shortened to ん?

Off the top of my head I remember hearing these sentences, which I assume are just shortenings: すみません, 分からん 絶対許さん! Along with these two I've seen in sentence examples: もう我慢できん ...
14
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4answers
2k views

In what way is the negative form of a verb an adjective?

I was reading the wikipedia page on "predicate," where it mentioned that in Japanese, the negative form of a verb is an adjective. I thought that this was too expansive a statement to be true, but ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Why don't we use ~なくて instead of ~ないで?

Background In my understanding that might be wrong, I think the ~ない form of a verb becomes an i-adjective. For example, 納{なっ}豆{とう}を食{た}べない人{ひと}が多{おお}いです。 where 納{なっ}豆{とう}を食{た}べない modifies 人{ひと}. ...
37
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6answers
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Does -ou / -you / -mashou conjugation have a negative form?

Does the -ou / -you / -mashou (the "let's X") form have a negative counterpart? For example, how do I say "let's not X" for the following?: 行こう 食べよう 寝ましょう As far as I can remember, the Japanese ...
22
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4answers
5k views

The reality of answering いいえ to a negative question

tl;dr: when answering a negative question, can いいえ be used to affirm what the question states as a whole? I came to Japan at the age of six, and I guess I pass as a normal native speaker of Japanese ...
10
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4answers
395 views

して行{い}かない versus しないで行{い}く

Do they have the same meaning? A: 宿{しゅく}題{だい}をして行{い}かない生{せい}徒{と}が多{おお}いです。 B: 宿{しゅく}題{だい}をしないで行{い}く生{せい}徒{と}が多{おお}いです。
25
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2answers
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Why is it なさそう and not なそう

"It seems there is none" is なさそう, which escapes the usual rule for 形容詞 (イ-adjectives), which says "drop the い and add そう". Is there a historical explanation for this exception? And does it have ...
12
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3answers
757 views

ない in つまらない and similar adjectives and their conjugation with すぎる

The usual path for conjugation would be: 高い → 高すぎる  (drop い, append すぎる) ない → なさすぎる (drop い, append さ, append すぎる) Is ない in つまらない treated as the negative ない which conjugates as 2.? Or is つまらない a ...
6
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1answer
408 views

The meaning of しないでもなかった

彼の性格が読めてきたような気がしないでもなかった しない is a negative conjugation of する And from what I understand でもなかった is the equivalent of "was not" So it's a double denial? How does this work?
7
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1answer
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Is this は or はいる: ~わかってはいるものの

たばこは体に悪いとわかってはいるものの、なかなかやめられない。 If it's は, does omitting は change the meaning in verb-te~はいる? And also, could you talk about what いる is doing? If it's はいる, in what sense would you describe はいる's ...
9
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3answers
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What does the “〜やしない” conjugation mean?

In episode 76 of Fairy Tail, Gildarts said this to Natsu: 本気でそう思ったら、止めやしないよ。 (honki de sou omottara, tomeyashinai yo) Which was translated in the subtitle as: If that's what you honestly ...
3
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1answer
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difference between -なくて and -ないで [duplicate]

When I encounter these two, I usually don't have a problem understanding their meaning in the given context. Still, I don't really know what makes them different from each other xD -なくて still is ...
7
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3answers
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What is the difference between 〜ないではいられない and 〜ずにはいられない

I was taught that these two phrases are interchangeable and have the same meaning. However, I recently wrote a few practice sentences using this grammar point and they were corrected to use ずには ...
4
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2answers
227 views

Negative present endings translated as past tense

I've seen certain translations where I feels like there's a shift in the tenses. Ex: なぜ早く言わない!? translated to "Why didn't you say so sooner!?" In fact, I've experienced a lot of cases where a ...
7
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2answers
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What is the difference between 言うな! and 言ってんじゃねぇぞ?

1) What is the difference between 言うな! and 言ってんじゃねぇぞ!, in other words can we use them interchangeably at all times? 2) which is ruder?
5
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3answers
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How to say “no thank you, I don't want / need it”?

Sometimes I am offered something but because I'm just a beginner I don't know what verb they used. I know the proper way to say "no" is to answer with the negative form of the verb the other person ...
10
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3answers
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How can we determine the subject of 「彼{かれ}が来{こ}ないことを知{し}りませんでした。」?

Consider the following sentence. 彼{かれ}が来{こ}ないことを知{し}りませんでした。 I really get confused in determining the subject. Which is the correct translation? I did not know that he will not come. He did not ...
4
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3answers
895 views

How can I use できない and しまう? I'd like to apologize for not being able to do something

I'd like to apologize for not being able to do xyz. Rather than just saying 「すみません、何々ができません。」, could I say something like: 何々ができなくてしまいます。 Or is しまう always used with a positive te-form verb?
2
votes
1answer
825 views

Adjective negation: difference between 〜くない and 〜くありません

What's the difference between 〜くない and 〜くありません? Both are added to an i-adjective (イ形容詞, verb type adjective) to make it negative. For example: 寒くない 寒くありません But what's the difference? Is one more ...
1
vote
1answer
227 views

How is ではなく formed?

この女の人はペンチではなく、ハンマーを使っています。 I believe the sentence means "The woman is using a hammer, not a pliers". But I couldn't understand ではなく, how is this structure formed?
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3answers
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About the な part in negative imperative verb form (e.g. 飲むな)

In the Japanese version of "don't drink and drive" slogan, 【乗るなら飲むな】 (also 【飲んだら乗るな】), what part of speech is the な that follows the plain verb 飲む (or 乗る in the second variation) to form the negative ...
10
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2answers
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What is the correct grammar for “neither x nor y”?

I have searched on the web and found about 4 patterns (probably more) to say I am neither a student nor a teacher. in Japanese. A: 僕は学生でもないし、先生でもない。 B: 僕は学生でもなく、先生でもない。 C: 僕は学生でもなければ、...
12
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3answers
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Why do we use 〜ないで instead of 〜なくて before auxiliary ください?

I was taught in college that the 〜ない verb conjugation behaves like an i-adjective, thus it has 〜く form, it takes 〜ければ for "if" scenario, it modifies the noun that follows it etc. Also, I know that the ...
10
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2answers
909 views

What does the word 「ありゃしねえ」mean?

It is a situation which a salesperson announces to a group of people to attract them to buy his goods. Here is the full sentence. こんなお買【か】いどくはどこの世【せ】界【かい】へいったって ありゃしねえよ
7
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3answers
507 views

When ない becomes ぬ

Does anyone know what to call the outdated, high form of language which will say for example "ならぬ" rather than "ならない" or more accurately "だめだ"? Specifically, I would like to know if there is a name ...
6
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2answers
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~ないでいる verb ending

This is dialogue from a book I have, where a doctor is talking about a patient: 気分が極端に変りやすくなっていて、自分で自分をコントロールできない。神を呪うかと思うと、神に祈る。呪う自分と祈る自分と、絶えず入れ替っていて、どっちが本当の自分か判断できないでいる。 My question is about the ...
8
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2answers
679 views

Which verb receives a negation in a Japanese sentence?

I can say 歩いて渡る which translates to "to cross by walking". However, if I would like to say "I am not going to cross by walking, but by some other means", would I say 歩かないで渡る or 歩いて渡らない? There are ...
4
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1answer
322 views

Origin of ません (-masen)?

I understand that polite forms like yomimasu are actually (or originated as) infinitive yomi + auxiliary verb masu in its plain non-past form. Then past form yomimashita is just infinitive yomi + ...
3
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1answer
821 views

Meaning of verb followed by ちゃ

A mother is scolding her daughter. The uncle (Tomozou) speaks first: 「おかあさん、お歳暮の広告見ちゃダメ?」 友蔵が頼んでもおかあさんは首を縦に振らなかった。 「ダメですっ。」 "Mother, is looking at year-end adverts not allowed?" Even ...
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2answers
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What is the difference between しないで and しなくて? [duplicate]

I am still not so clear with the difference between '.....しないで.....’ and '....しなくて....' . Could you please explain them for me, and give me some examples?
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3answers
948 views

Let's not do this

I wonder how to interpret the following sentence: "The weather is bad so let's not go out?". Basically, I want to stay as literal as possible and not end up saying "let's stay home" or using "if the ...
4
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1answer
145 views

Uncertain about なにも

I encountered a short sentence that I'm having trouble understanding completely. なにも遊ぶのは人間だけじゃない。 The context is, a young girl is playing with a dog for the first time. I'm pretty sure I at least ...
4
votes
1answer
595 views

Why does 不甲斐{ふがい}ない mean “worthless” while 甲斐{かい} means “worth”?

JMdict: 不甲斐{ふがい}ない: disappointing; weak-minded; spiritless; cowardly; worthless; pusillanimous; feckless; faint-hearted; shiftless; tame; timid 甲斐{かい}: effect; result; worth; use; avail ...
3
votes
1answer
264 views

Conjugation of negative auxiliary 〜ぬ

〜ない functions the same way as an adjective, and so it can be conjugated to 〜なかった, 〜なくて, and so on. As far as I can tell, this is not case for 〜ぬ. Does it function as a standalone suffix, or is it able ...
3
votes
2answers
521 views

Sentence ending じゃよ

Maruko:「おとおさんはちょっとは遠慮しながら食べてよ」 Dad:「いいんじゃよ」 Grandad:「そうじゃよ、みんなたくさん食べればいいよ」 Maruko is telling dad to hold back a bit while eating (because the food is a way to thank her grandad). I don't ...
3
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2answers
150 views

When I ask a simple question should I ask it in negative form?

My textbook is prompting me to ask questions: "Don't you want to see a movie?" eiga o mimasen ka? "Don't you want to eat dinner?" bangohan o tabemasen ka? I'm wondering if I should be ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Why is it なくて and not ないで

お金が足りなくて、本が買えませんでした。 Shouldn't it be: お金が足りないで、本が買えませんでした。
2
votes
2answers
288 views

How to interpret だけじゃ with negative verbs?

I'm confused by the use of だけじゃ in this paragraph: たしかに、レスラーの試合があって大会は成り立ってますけどね。でも、やはりあの最高の空間であり、最高の試合っていうものはレスラーだけじゃ作れないですから。と、ボクは思ってますからね。ボクが思ってることが正しいか、正しくないかはわからないけど、ボクはそう思ってますから。で、...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the difference between saying 私は日本語を話しません vs 私は日本語が話しません?

私は日本語を話しません 私は日本語が話しません I've seen both versions on the Internet. Maybe only one is the correct version? Maybe both?