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Difference between じゃあない and は ない?

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Difference between じゃあない and は ない?

Postby Miyu-rin » Sat 09.22.2007 9:50 am

Like the title says, what is the difference between じゃあない and は ない? And how would they be used in a sentence? Are they the same thing? ありがとうございます。 (Sorry this is such a stupid question :( ... )
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RE: Difference between じゃあない and は ない?

Postby richvh » Sat 09.22.2007 10:07 am

ねこじゃない - it isn't a cat.
ねこはない - there isn't a cat.
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RE: Difference between じゃあない and は ない?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 09.22.2007 10:42 am

ねこはいない would be more likely, wouldn't it?

Some more examples:
これは日本語の本じゃない。 (This book is not a Japanese [language] book.)
日本語の本はない。 (There aren't any Japanese books / I don't have any Japanese books)

新しいコンピューターじゃない。 (This is not a new computer.)
新しいコンピューターはない。 (There aren't any new computers / I don't have a new computer)
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RE: Difference between じゃあない and は ない?

Postby AJBryant » Sat 09.22.2007 3:06 pm

I tend to want to read ねこはいない as "there isn't a cat" and ねこはない as "I don't have a cat" -- but that may just be my caffeine-deprived brain.


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RE: Difference between じゃあない and は ない?

Postby Kisshu » Sat 09.22.2007 6:07 pm

But wouldn't you usually use が instead of は? Or is it something I haven't learned yet?
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RE: Difference between じゃあない and は ない?

Postby richvh » Sat 09.22.2007 6:30 pm

Usually, you use は instead of が with a negative verb.
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RE: Difference between じゃあない and は ない?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 09.22.2007 6:51 pm

I think when が does occur with a negative verb it has a meaning very close to だけ, or else a heavy emphasis on the thing as being very important to the context -- i.e. 米国に住みたいけど英語が分からない。 But Google is not being much help -- most of the hits for がない are either set phrases like しょうがない or uses within a relative or subordinate clause.
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RE: Difference between じゃあない and は ない?

Postby shin1ro » Sun 09.23.2007 9:55 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
I think when が does occur with a negative verb it has a meaning very close to だけ, or else a heavy emphasis on the thing as being very important to the context -- i.e. 米国に住みたいけど英語が分からない。

Yeah, although が is weaker than だけ, が has that kind of a nuance, especially 「英語が」part is pronounced with high pitch/stress. 英語 which is the main point of his trouble is emphasized. And maybe he has other troubles, but it would imply they're not so serious compared to 英語.

On the other hand, だけは instead of が has the quite similar as high ptich 英語が version. It probably shows emphasis clearer that 英語 is the only problem he has.

...I've just tried to describe how it sounds but I don't know why and I don't know what is the general rule of は and が... it's a pity :(

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RE: Difference between じゃあない and は ない?

Postby NocturnalOcean » Mon 09.24.2007 12:00 am

Just wanted to mentioned, OP probably knows but, if you have ではない and not just はない it is the same as じゃない. じゃない is a contracted form of ではない,thus used more in spoken japanese, while ではない is mostly used in written japanese.
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