Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

Negative verbs

Oni's picture
It isn't a sin to be negative. Interesting I should say that... 'sin' sounds like 'sen' which marks the negative in Japanese in the -masu form. (Ok, so I set that one up...)

話せます hanasemasu - can speak becomes...

watashi wa nihongo ga hanasemasen.
(I) can`t speak Japanese.

分かります wakarimasu - understand becomes...

watashi wa eigoga wakarimasen.
(I) don`t understand English.

If you can make the -masu form, just drop the す and add the せん。

You may have noticed there are no `no` words needed to make a negative like in English. You simply modify the verb`s ending.

To make the negative in the plain, or simple, form by taking the basic stem and adding ない to it.

With the `ru` verbs you simply drop the る and add ない as in 忘れ wasureru (to forget)...

nihongo o wasurenai.
(I) don`t forget Japanese.

And for the `u` verbs we change the ending `u` sound to a `a` sound as in 書く kaku -> 書か...

tegami o kakanai.
(I) don`t write letters.

Finally we come to する and the other irregular verbs.

する is しない in the simple form and しません in the polite form

sukaidaibingu o shimasen.
(I) don`t do sky diving.

And 来る kuru is 来ない konai and 来ません kimasen in the formal...

gojira ga konai.
Godzilla doesn`t come.

To review the 3 types of verbs click here.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Thank you Sir. Is it as a

Thank you Sir.
Is it as a rule that the verbs to which たい is added act as -i adjectives? This wasn't mentioned on the page(Ch-2, part 17) in which adding たい was taught.

たい form acts like い-adjective

Yes, both the たい and ない conjugations form words that act like い-adjectives. I'm not sure what lesson that might be mentioned in or if it's in a lesson. (I didn't write these pages, though I learned a few things from them!)

Are there some verbs to which

Are there some verbs to which ~kunai is added to make them negative?I have heard in anime verbs such as -
Maketakunai(not lose)
Nakitakunai(not cry)
(Though I don't know the root of verbs lose and cry)
These are verbs that use ~kunai for making negative, and it is also true that apart from these verbs I haven't heard any other verb with ~kunai.


負けたくない(maketakunai) is from まける becoming 負けたい (want to lose), which although it's a conjugation of a verb, the たい form itself results in an i-adjective.
So, the i-adjective 負けたい is made negative as 負けたくない ('don't want to lose') by the rules of i-adjectives.

泣く(なく) -> なきたい -> なきたくない ('don't want to cry')

Moving lesson suggestion

I think this lesson should come first before #35: ~なければなりません, don't you think? To be able to use ~なければなりません, we should be able to know what the negative form of the verb is and for #35, what was only shown was the negative forms for 形容動詞 (-る verbs) and for する.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Support those who Support TJP!

Click here to learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com