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Verb て+はない or Adj く+はない

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Verb て+はない or Adj く+はない

Postby Seanver » Mon 08.10.2009 7:59 am

I've been finding from time to time constructions such as:

食べてはない or 行きたくはない

The construction in general seems to be linking form of verb/adjective + はない (and I remember seeing はある as well). I haven't been able to find any information on this in any grammar or on the net, though. As far as I've understood from the contexts alone, it shouldn't be too different from "normal" forms such as 行きたくない, but I don't understand very well why these forms are used. Maybe for emphasis, by using the particle は to make the linking form of the verb/adjective as topic?

I'd appreciate some help
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Re: Verb て+はない or Adj く+はない

Postby NileCat » Mon 08.10.2009 8:17 am

Your guess is almost correect.
Using the word, you can emphasyze something.

The tricky issue would be 'what are you emphasyzing?'.
Here is an example for you.

Q.「お祭りに行きたい?」(お祭り=o+matsuri=festival)
A. 「行きたくはない」

Which means, he(she) is not willing to go (BUT is intrested in it).
Does it make sense to you?

By the way,
食べてはない 

is not necessarily unnatural, but 食べてはいない would sound more natural. Especially when it is written.
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Re: Verb て+はない or Adj く+はない

Postby NileCat » Mon 08.10.2009 8:30 am

another example

Q.「ケーキを食べた?」(ケーキ= cake)
A. 「食べてはいない」

I didn't eat it (BUT I smelled it or just touched it or... whatever)
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Re: Verb て+はない or Adj く+はない

Postby Seanver » Mon 08.10.2009 8:35 am

It makes sense now. From what I've understood, it focuses the negation on the verb, it negates that it's that action that happened - I didn't eat it (but did something else)

So from what I've gathered could it be used in some way like...

そう言ってはいないよ。 ただ思った
I didn't say it! I just thought it
?

ありがとうございました!
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Re: Verb て+はない or Adj く+はない

Postby NileCat » Mon 08.10.2009 1:13 pm

そう言ってはいないよ。 ただ思った
I didn't say it! I just thought it

Totally correct. Congratulations !

And if you add 「だけ」at the end, it would be more commonly used expression.
そう言ってはいないよ。ただ思っただけ。

In polite way,
そう言ってはいません。ただ思っただけです。
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