Friday, August 21, 2009

Japanese Verbs Plain Form Negative: ~ ない (nai)

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Previous posts on verbs were about plain/dictionary ~u (う) form and polite ~ ます(masu) forms. Now I learn how to make negative out of the plain ~う form.

Group 1: ~ U ending verbs (godan) plain negative form:
  • To make negative ~ない form out of Type 1 verbs (godan), change ~u (う)ending to ~a (あ)and add nai(ない): verb~u ---> verb~a+nai (plain form ---> plain negative form)
hanasu (話す) ---> hanasanai - not speak
kaku (書く) ---> kakanai - not write
kiku (聞く)---> kikanai - not listen
matsu (待つ)---> matsanai - not wait
kasu(貸す)---> kasanai - not lend
nomu (飲む)---> nomanai - not drink

John wa kasa o kawanai. (John isn't going to buy an umbrella.)
Jim wa manga o yomanai.
(Jim doesn't read comic books.)
Daremo korosanai yo!
(I won't kill anyone!)
Makudonarudo nashi-ja ikirarenai! (I can't live without my McDonalds!)

And the type of conversation I like very much:
- Konya wa uchini kaeritakunai! (I don't wanna go home tonight!)
- Issho-ni yoake-no kohi nomanai?” (Would you like to have coffee with me in the morning?)

Group 2: ~ Iru and ~ Eru ending verbs plain negative form:
  • Ichidan (~Iru and ~Eru) verbs are a snap again, because you change them by just dropping the ~ru and adding ~nai (ない)
~ Iru ending verbs

kiru (着る) kinai - to wear not
miru (見る) minai - to see not
okiru (起きる) okinai - not going to get up
oriru (降りる) orinai - not going to get off
shinjiru (信じる) shinjinai - to believe not

~ Eru ending verbs

akeru (開ける) akenai - not going to open
ageru (あげる) agenai - not going to give
deru (出る) denai - not going to go out
neru (寝る) nenai - not going to sleep
taberu (食べる) tabenai - not going to eat

Watashi wa terebi o minai. (I'm not going to watch TV.)
Ore wa daremo tabenai desu. (I don't eat anybody!)


Notice that ~nai means "not going to do (something) for the time being" as well as "don't do at all" as a matter of personal policy:

Jim wa manga o yomanai
(Could mean that Jim never reads comic books, or that he just isn't going to read a comic book now or in the near future.)

Please remember that the ending ~nai should only be used in informal settings. Depending on the situation, you may want to upgrade it to a polite form by simply adding です (desu) after nai:

Aitsu wa nanimo tabenai desu. (He eats nothing.)

Or use ~ ません (masen) form that will be covered in next post.
And, as ususal, Baka iwanai deyo! (Don't say stupid things!)

Group 3: Irregular Verbs くる (kuru) and ~する (~suru)
  • To make negative form out of kuru, change kuru to konai
  • To make negative form out of suru, change suru to shinai
  • To make negative form out of ~suru verbs, change ~suru ending to ~shinai
benkyousuru (勉強する)benkyoshinai - not going to study
ryokousuru (旅行する)ryokoushinai - not going to travel
etc.

Ja nai - The opposite of DESU

When you want to say something ISN'T, you use "ja nai" じゃない or "janai des" じゃない です . じゃない would be used in sentences such as:

niau ja nai? (Doesn't it suit (look good on) me?)
omae wa tsuyoi ja nai desu (You are NOT strong.)
kisama wa ore no kashira ja nai yo! (You are not my leader!)

4 comments:

  1. How would you say ' no pets allowed '
    I'm confused . I'm assuming it would be peto ______ kudasai .

    ReplyDelete
  2. "matsu (待つ)---> matsanai - not wait" is wrong. It should be matanai. Tsu should go to ta.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Would ありません still turn into ない?

    ReplyDelete