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View Full Version : Is it ever all right to say "ja nai de"?



VraieEsprit
09-20-2007, 11:59 AM
Ok, random idiot question coming up...

I know you can say "tabenai de" or tabenakute" for "don't eat" or "not eating"...

And that both the negative forms involve the a- stem of a verb and then either nai de or nakute.

(At least, I hope I've understood that right).

This is where the idiot question comes in. I've often heard ja nakute being used, but I wondered if you can or can't say ja nai de to mean the same thing...?

Vraie

Skeez
09-20-2007, 02:33 PM
To me "ja nai de" seems incomplete when you say things like "tabenai de" is a fairly casual statement.
When you say "tabenai de" I am pretty sure that that is just a shortening of "tabenai de kudasai" (please don't eat) by itself it means without eating, so it could be used in things such as "tabenai de KURASU e ikimashita" (without eating, I went to class). Whereas "tabenakute" is the connective negative gerund form. for example "asagohan wo tabenakute KURASU e ikimashita" (I didn't eat breakfast and then went to class.)
now on the topic of ja nai. since -negative stem de is the "without doing something" form, I would find using the verb arimasu (nai) very strange to be used this way. if you want ja before it, you'd have to be preceeding a noun or na-adjective so a sentence would have to be like: "gakusei ja nai de" (please don't exist as a student (literal)). whereas a better way to say that would be "gakusei ni naranai de" (please don't become a student).
as for ja nakute that's useful for simple phrases (it's used for connecting).
Jikan ga nai. KURASU e ikemasen (There is no time. I can't go to class)
Jikan ga nakute, KURASU e ikemasen (there is no time, so I can't go to class)
or
Hitobito ja nakute demashita (there were no people there so I left)
That is just my two cents and moderate knowledge of japanese speaking though, I may be completely wrong.

VraieEsprit
09-20-2007, 02:44 PM
Thanks :) I think I follow.

It seemed wrong to me to just write it/say it, but I wasn't sure. Japanese verbs are so complicated :S

And yeah I guess that 食べないで is as incomplete as 食べて is on its own, only in the negative...and you wouldn't treat ja nai the same way...

Thanks :)

I guess I've just heard そうじゃなくて! (that's not it!) so often in anime that it made me wonder...

Vraie

Ertai87
09-20-2007, 03:26 PM
To me "ja nai de" seems incomplete when you say things like "tabenai de" is a fairly casual statement.
When you say "tabenai de" I am pretty sure that that is just a shortening of "tabenai de kudasai" (please don't eat) by itself it means without eating, so it could be used in things such as "tabenai de KURASU e ikimashita" (without eating, I went to class). Whereas "tabenakute" is the connective negative gerund form. for example "asagohan wo tabenakute KURASU e ikimashita" (I didn't eat breakfast and then went to class.)
now on the topic of ja nai. since -negative stem de is the "without doing something" form, I would find using the verb arimasu (nai) very strange to be used this way. if you want ja before it, you'd have to be preceeding a noun or na-adjective so a sentence would have to be like: "gakusei ja nai de" (please don't exist as a student (literal)). whereas a better way to say that would be "gakusei ni naranai de" (please don't become a student).
as for ja nakute that's useful for simple phrases (it's used for connecting).
Jikan ga nai. KURASU e ikemasen (There is no time. I can't go to class)
Jikan ga nakute, KURASU e ikemasen (there is no time, so I can't go to class)
or
Hitobito ja nakute demashita (there were no people there so I left)
That is just my two cents and moderate knowledge of japanese speaking though, I may be completely wrong.

Actually I saw "-nakute" in a reading passage in my Japanese class the other day and it was really confusing so I asked my prof, but she wouldn't answer me, so I'm glad I read that. Thanks :D

Skeez
09-20-2007, 07:50 PM
Just as note though, my english translation of that can be misleading. Using -nakute is not a way to give conditionals. My example was actually kinda misleading, it'd be better phrased as:

hitobito ja nattara, demashita.

During my japanese class today I thought of a better example:

日本人じゃなくて、アメリカ人ですよ。
nihonjin ja nakute, amerika jin desu yo.
Japanese he is not, he is american.

te form is just used for connecting in that sense, for conditionals you would use something like -tara, -nara, or -ba. -te form is very versitile though through my experience using the negative te form is used less than the affirmative form. Make sure you know the te form song, it's a life saver!

tetekmakhang
09-21-2007, 03:20 AM
hitobito ja nattara, demashita.





Hitobito ja nakute demashita


although you did a great job explaining the grammar, id just like to nitpick with those 2 sentences that you gave. unfortunately both of them don't make any sense at all. the most natural way to say "there were no people there so I left" is "daremo inakatta kara demashita"

Skeez
09-21-2007, 04:16 AM
although you did a great job explaining the grammar, id just like to nitpick with those 2 sentences that you gave. unfortunately both of them don't make any sense at all. the most natural way to say "there were no people there so I left" is "daremo inakatta kara demashita"
Ah my mistake I was trying to make it conditional, but that doesn't work with past tense.

I was having trouble thinking of uses of ja nai so I tried to just pick out a random noun (hitobito) but yeah, that means more of: each person.

Although 誰もいなたら出ます would make sense right? I guess hitobito would be better used as 人々が変すぎたら、出ます or something of the sort :banghead: すみません!

Ertai87
09-21-2007, 11:27 AM
So wait...is "-nakute" form used like "kara", in that it gives reasoning? The example in my textbook was:

Shikashi, kochira de wa ii jisho ga nakanaka mitsukaranakute komatteimasu

My teacher explained that the sentence means "But over here I'm in trouble because a good dictionary is hard to find".

Somebody want to explain? I get the idea that "nakute" form is like the negative "te" form without tense (like when you want to describe multiple actions together), but what's this form for?

Skeez
09-21-2007, 12:56 PM
no that was my mistake in explaining. it is just for connecting actions. It's just kinda hard to translate combining of negative actions without using the english word 'so'.

There are a couple cases where you'll commonly see negative -te form. One is giving/asking permission (-te mo ii)

for example: benkyou shinakute mo ii desu (It's ok to not study)

you also will see it if you're expressing things that must be done seen as the grammar structure -nakute wa ikemasen or -nakute wa narimasen. (note: you also can use nakereba ikemasen/nakereba narimasen)

but nakute is not used to express causation at all, that's the job of kara and node.

Ertai87
09-21-2007, 01:24 PM
So then how would you translate the sentence I posted? Note that I copied it word for word out of my textbook, which was written by my prof, who is Japanese.

Also, on that note, sould you replace "ii" in the form "-nakute mo ii" with another adjective? For example, could you say something like:

"benkyoushinakute mo yokunai" ("it is bad to not study")

tetekmakhang
09-22-2007, 03:14 AM
wow skeez.....unfortunately you've been teaching ertai87 the wrong things and seem to have confused him/her even more.

allow me to clear things up: you CAN use the -te form and the -nakute form to make a causative sentence.

eg: anata ni aete ureshii (i'm happy that i could have met you)
anata ni aenakute sabishii (im so lonely because i cant see you)

so, to ertai87, your teacher's translation about that sentence about it being to hard to find a dictionary is correct.

to sum it all up, there are a few ways to make a cuasative sentence in japanese: -kara, -node, -te, -nakute
and there could be a few more which i could have forgotten about, but for beginners, the 4 above is more than enough.




Although 誰もいなたら出ます would make sense right? I guess hitobito would be better used as 人々が変すぎたら、出ます or something of the sort すみません!


sorry skeez, but the first sentence doesnt make sense. i suggest you look up your textbook on the chapter on how to make conditionals.

in the first sentence, the word "inatara" doesnt exist. i think what you wanted to say was "daremo inakattara demasu" which translates as "if there's nobody there, i will leave."

and the 2nd sentence (hitobito ga hensugitara, demasu) although grammatically correct, translates as "if the people are too weird i will leave". i think you mistyped the kanji. i think what you wanted to say was "hito ga oosugitara demasu" which means "if there are too many people then i will leave".

note that i used hito, and not hitobito. japanese isnt too particular about singulars and plurals, so hito should suffice here.




"benkyoushinakute mo yokunai" ("it is bad to not study")

and lastly to ertai87, that sentence sounded weird to me. "-temo ii" is a fixed piece of grammar. it comes as a set. ive never heard it used in the "-temo yokunai" way. although in a conversation if you split it up, then its okay:

A: okaasan, konban benkyou shinakutemo ii? (mum, is it alright if i don't study tonight?)
B: yokunai! (of course not!)

so, the best way to say "it is bad to not study" would be "benkyou shinai koto wa yokunai"

Ertai87
09-22-2007, 01:52 PM
Now, now, let's not be too harsh on him, he was only trying to help. Oh, and for the record, I'm a guy, thx :D

shinnraiu
09-22-2007, 11:32 PM
taberuna
don't eat

much simpler no? ;;;;;;