16 votes
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Is verb ending ない shortened to ん?

The ん negative ending is a contraction of sorts of classical negative ending ぬ, precursor to modern ない. It's still pretty common. As illustration of this, the Microsoft IME gives 食べん as a valid ...
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15 votes
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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。」?

This sentence can technically mean both, but it usually (or almost always) means 1. To mean 2., we normally say 彼は来ないことを知りませんでした。 = He didn't know about the (someone else's) absense. because 彼 is ...
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15 votes

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

It's not common at all and I don't remember whether I've heard it in my entire life, but ありがとうございません is not gibberish, and it could pass as a meaningful wordplay to describe ありがた迷惑 if used in an ...
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12 votes
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Verb ending in -ん with positive meaning?

That ん isn't a shortening of ぬ, it's a shortening of the auxiliary む. According to Classical Japanese rules, the negative ~ぬ is the 連体形 of ~ず. This means it is used to modify nouns. In particular, ...
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11 votes
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meaning of 歩けなくなっちゃって

Here's where 歩けなく comes from: Start with the verb 歩く, "to walk". Turn it into its potential form: 歩ける, "able to walk". Make it negative: 歩けない, "unable to walk". Turn the newly formed i-adjective into ...
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11 votes

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

While it’s not impossible to interpret, it is unusual (far more than “thanks, but no thanks”). This is mainly because the grammatical construction of 〜うございます is mostly no longer productive and ...
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10 votes
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Omission of く in negative form of い-adjective

There are at least three types of omission of く, which should be distinguished. The "traditional western" euphoric change is called ウ音便 and is described in this question, this one and a chart in this ...
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10 votes
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How does 一回だって in this sentence mean "not even once" when there's no negative?

The だって in your example means: だって 🈩〘副助〙 ❹《最小を表す語に付いて、下に打ち消しの語を伴って》全面的否定を表す。…も。 「こんな会社は一日だって我慢できない」 「わずかだってミスは許されない」 (明鏡国語辞典) Used in this sense, だって(≈も) is always followed by negation. eg 「...
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9 votes
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Is it possible to use causative sentences to say "not to do"?

Using the terms from snailboat's link: Not [force doing] He didn't have me wash the dishes (but I washed them because I was bored). Similar to → He did not force me to wash the dishes. Force [not ...
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  • 6,863
9 votes

して行{い}かない versus しないで行{い}く

The sentence A: A: 宿題をして行かない生徒が多いです。 This almost always means "There are many students who go to school without doing their homework." (ie, they go to school anyway) In English, "Don'...
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9 votes
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Origin of ません (-masen)?

According to Shogakukan's big 国{こく}語{ご}大{だい}辞{じ}典{てん}, the verb ending -masu ultimately derived from a combination of humble polite auxiliary verb 参{まい}る plus the verb する, as a shift from either &#...
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8 votes
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Uncertain about なにも

That なにも is a Guiding Adverb that leads partial negation. It means nothing by itself but functions as a sign that tells that partial negation is following. It's different from normal なに+も ((not) ...
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8 votes
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Adjective negation: difference between 〜くない and 〜くありません

〜くない (casual) 〜くありません (formal) It's basically that simple. So saying 寒くありません is more formal than saying 寒くない. However, I feel that saying 寒くありません is a bit stiff even if you are trying to be polite. ...
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  • 555
8 votes

せず - What does it come from?

what is the original form The verb する. and how does it become せず? ず is an auxiliary verb ([助動詞]{じょどうし}) which attaches to the [未然形]{みぜんけい} of the verb. せ is one 未然形 of する and is the one which ず ...
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  • 4,956
8 votes
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して行{い}かない versus しないで行{い}く

If sentence A has a comma like: A: 宿題をして、行かない生徒が多いです。 B: 宿題をしないで行く生徒が多いです。 then Sjiveru is right. However, it doesn't have a comma, so they have the same meaning. They mean "There are many ...
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8 votes
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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」 How can I know? When it's spoken, you could easily tell the difference by the pitch accent: わかったようなこと[言うな]{LHL} ← negative imperative わかったようなこと[言うな]{LHH} ← mild ...
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8 votes
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Why does 不甲斐{ふがい}ない mean "worthless" while 甲斐{かい} means "worth"?

不甲斐ない was originally 腑甲斐ない. 腑 is an uncommon kanji meaning "gut." According to this article, 腑甲斐ない was much more commonly used by novelists in the Meiji and Taisho periods. According to this ...
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  • 267k
8 votes
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Conjugate る-ending verbs into negative form

There are generally 3 categories of verbs, and their names depend on which textbook you use. There are Type 1 (五段), Type 2 (一段), and Irregular verbs. The conjugation for negative form for Type 1 ...
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8 votes
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What is the nuanced function of 何ひとつ in a negated sentence?

This 何ひとつ is a negative polarity item. This means 何ひとつ is always followed by a negative expression, and 何ひとつ by itself is an intensifier. You asked about "何ひとつ in a negative sentence", but ...
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8 votes

て form of past negative sentence with ちゃう

ちゃう can be used in several completely different ways. Since you mentioned negation, I am certain you are entering the wild and wonderful world of the Osakan dialect. As standard Japanese: [Verb] + &...
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  • 865
7 votes

Is it possible to use causative sentences to say "not to do"?

Direct translation of "He had me not wash the dishes." is, as you wrote "彼は私に皿を洗わせませんでした。". That is correct. But it's bit awkward for me, I real situation he stopped me to wash dishes because I ...
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