Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Double negation?

Double negation?

Do you have a translation question?

Double negation?

Postby ahmadismail » Sun 09.30.2012 8:02 am

Hello everybody,

I found the following sentence in Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese:

加賀先生: そうね。大体、 「こんにちは」と言うと思いますよ。 ただし、書く時 は「こんにちわ」じゃなくて、 「こんにちは」と書かなくてはなりません。

The translation given is:

Kaga-sensei: Well, mostly, I think people say "konnichiwa". Only, when you write it, you must write "konnichiha" and not "konnichiwa".

I have trouble understanding the structure of the last phrase:

「こんにちは」と書かなくてはなりません。

I don't know how this translates to: you must write "Konnichiha".

My own analysis of the phrase is as follows:

「こんにちは」と "Konnichiha" quote
書かなくて not write
は topic particle
なりません must not

Is this a case of double negation? "You must NOT NOT write "konnichiha"?

Thanks
ahmadismail
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun 09.30.2012 7:15 am
Native language: English

Re: Double negation?

Postby Shiroisan » Sun 09.30.2012 12:46 pm

In formally written Japanese, double negation is the main way to say "have to".

There are various forms。  I'll use the verb "to eat" as an example..

たべなければなりません。
たべなくちゃなりません。
たべなきゃいけません。
たべなくてはいけません。
たべないとなりません。

it doesn't matter whether you use なりません or いけません for the ending.


This should be one of the very first things they teach you when you learn ない forms.
User avatar
Shiroisan
 
Posts: 347
Joined: Sun 03.06.2011 2:52 am
Native language: Eigo

Re: Double negation?

Postby furrykef » Sun 02.10.2013 9:05 pm

This is the relevant page on Tae Kim for this grammar construction.

It should be noted that the ~なくちゃ and ~なきゃ forms are informal (but not impolite) contractions of ~なくては and ~なければ.
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
Also see my lang-8 journal, where you can help me practice Japanese (and Spanish, and Italian!)
User avatar
furrykef
 
Posts: 1572
Joined: Thu 01.10.2008 9:20 pm
Native language: Eggo (ワッフル語の方言)
Gender: Male


Return to Translation Questions or Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests