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what does ja nai mean?

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what does ja nai mean?

Postby Mr.Paper » Tue 09.01.2009 9:47 pm

Please help me. I hear it often.
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Re: what does ja nai mean?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 09.01.2009 9:51 pm

Two possibilities:

1. Negative of a noun or na-adjective
sensei da = teacher
sensei ja nai = not a teacher
kirei da = pretty
kirei ja nai = not pretty

2. Rhetorical; "isn't it?" meaning at the end.
sensei ja nai? - Isn't that a/the teacher?
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Re: what does ja nai mean?

Postby furrykef » Tue 09.01.2009 9:54 pm

In short, it's the negative form of "da". It's a contraction of "dewa nai" -- the particle combination "dewa" can be contracted to "ja" in many (all?) cases, but it's informal, so it doesn't occur in formal writing.

You're probably familiar with the polite form: ja arimasen (or "dewa arimasen"). "Nai" is simply the plain form of "arimasen". (Or, to put it another way, the negative form of "aru" is "nai" rather than the expected "arinai".)
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