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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65
votes
4answers
22k 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 ...
64
votes
7answers
20k views

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 ...
38
votes
6answers
9k views

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 ...
31
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
31
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
26
votes
2answers
4k views

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 ...
26
votes
1answer
4k views

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 ...
24
votes
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 ...
15
votes
5answers
7k views

How would a fluent speaker understand ありがとうございません?

How could that forced negation of a common phrase be interpreted? This came up as just a part of some free exploration of linguistics, and my friends and I were pondering if it could perhaps be ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

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 ...
15
votes
4answers
8k views

To not have: 持っていません or ありません?

Whenever I go to the Life supermarket near my house, they ask me at the check out: ライフカードを持っていますか? (Do you have a Life [members] card?) I always respond with something like: いいえ、持っていません。 ...
15
votes
1answer
8k 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.
14
votes
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

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 ...
13
votes
3answers
326 views

Omission of く in negative form of い-adjective

I learnt that the negative form of い-adjective is: remove the trailing い, then add くない. Example: 赤い→赤くない However, I've been watching Japanese livestream and following her twitter. Sometimes, she omit ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Does ません sometimes not negate?

I have a text in my learning materials as follows: 彼ら は 自分 の 事 しか 考えて いません。 Its translation is apparently "they only think of themselves". Now it all makes sense to me until the ません at the end. ...
12
votes
2answers
341 views

苦労せん is the contracted form of what?

I'm translating a manga in which one character use a very slangy or contracted way of speaking while the others talk more standard-like. I've already encountered the stem+ん as a short form the ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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
12
votes
3answers
871 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
966 views

Is 「意味の分からなさ」 strange?

Since my recent question about 〜く+ある, I've been trying to learn more about the differences between 形容詞「無い」 and 助動詞「〜ない」. In other words, I'm trying to learn how the independent adjective nai and the ...
10
votes
4answers
441 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。
10
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the difference between 言わないでほしい and 言ってほしくない

What's the difference between 言わないでほしい and 言ってほしくない ? If the intended message is "I don't want you to say it" which of the two above would be more suitable?
10
votes
2answers
3k views

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、...
10
votes
1answer
386 views

What form of imperative is this? 是非この機会お見逃しなく!

The following statement seems like an imperative but does not have the structure of the imperative: 是非{ぜひ}この機会{きかい}お見逃{みのが}しなく! Make sure not to miss this opportunity! Is なく 連用形 of ない? If yes, ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
570 views

Is it possible to use causative sentences to say “not to do”?

How to use Japanese causative sentences to say the following? He had me not wash the dishes. I believe that "彼は私に皿を洗わせませんでした。" is not the answer because its translation becomes "He has not made me ...
9
votes
3answers
697 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Is ない an “auxiliary verb”?

My dictionary says 助動詞{じょどうし} means "auxiliary verb". This sounds intuitively correct; 動詞 means verb, so 助動詞 sounds like a type of verb. But the 助動詞「ない」 looks like an auxiliary adjective, not an ...
9
votes
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}. ...
9
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2answers
2k views

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?
8
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
705 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
346 views

<verb stem>+たかない

Is [verb stem] + たかない different than [verb stem] + たくない? What does it mean?
8
votes
2answers
546 views

Is 〜でなかった valid?

I have from the entry for 実際 of ウィズダム英和・和英辞書 the following sentence: 彼は医者だと言ったが実際はそうでなかった。 He said he was a doctor, but in fact he was not. From what I understand, the 「〜でなかった」 here is ...
8
votes
2answers
632 views

Difference between ~ざる and ~ぬ

A sentence from 五輪書: おのづから道の器用有りて、天理をはなれざる故か。 I found a question about ~ざる and ~ぬ on 知恵袋. The only answer claims that ~ぬ and ~ざる are both the 連体形 of ~ず and ~ざる is a "complementary" conjugation, to ...
8
votes
2answers
487 views

Pitch Accent for ~ない and ~たい

It seems to be a pattern for i-adjectives (in their "dictionary-form") to have low intonation on the first and last morae and high intonation in between, at least if they are three morae or more in ...
8
votes
1answer
529 views

When is it appropriate to use [v] ないでくれ instead of [v] な?

Initially I wanted to compare the rudeness level of [v]ないでくれ。 and[v]な。 but since that may be a rather vague question: In what situation is it appropriate to use [v]ないでくれ。 but not [v]な。 ? In what ...
8
votes
1answer
315 views

Does it make sense to say [v]ませんでしたら instead of [v]なかったら?

I'm wondering whether it makes sense to say [v]ませんでしたら instead of [v]なかったら. When I googled for that conjugation there were very few results, but since there were results, I wonder if people actually ...
7
votes
4answers
27k views

Use of Amari when an adjective is in the negative

I am following a book called "Teach Yourself Japanese", right now I am on using adjectives. In there, there is an example: Igirisu no jamu wa totemo oishii desu. Which I can understand in terms ...
7
votes
3answers
628 views

Having trouble parsing this triple negative sentence

In my JLPT practise book, there is this sentence, which is designed to test if one can track all the negations: その仕事{しごと}ほどおもしろくない仕事{しごと}はないのではないかと、私{わたし}は思{おも}った。 Up to の, I think it's saying, "...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

~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 ...
7
votes
3answers
443 views

Is な used for emphasis or negative imperative in this sentence?

「おまえ、そんな体験したこともねぇのにわかったようなこと言うなっ」 Even though you've never had such an experience, (you say things like you understand)/(don't say things like you understand). Is this な the negative imperative ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it ok to say 問題ない instead of 問題じゃない? Why?

問題ない vs 問題じゃない From what I understand the negative form of a noun is created with じゃない and not ない however my textbook uses 問題ない in an example (translated as "no problem"). Looking elsewhere on the ...
7
votes
3answers
21k views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

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?
7
votes
1answer
431 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 + ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
480 views

必ずしも within this sentence

I was learning about 限らない and encounter this particular sentence. 社長の意見が必ずしも正しいとは限らない I'm pretty sure that the meaning would be "Manager's opinion is not always right" But if I check the ...