Home » Grammar » Chapter 4 » 41. Negative verbs

100 GRAMMAR POINTS

41. Negative verbs

It isn’t a sin to be negative. Interesting I should say that… “Sin” sounds like “sen” which just happens to be the sound that marks the negative in Japanese in the –masu form. (Okay, so I set that one up…)

話せます hanasemasu – can speak becomes…

私は、日本語が話せません。
watashi wa nihongo ga hanasemasen.
(I) can`t speak Japanese.

分かります wakarimasu – understand becomes…

私は、英語が分かりません。
watashi wa eigoga wakarimasen.
(I) don`t understand English.

NOTES:

  • 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).

日本語を忘れない
nihongo
o wasurenai.
(I) don`t forget Japanese.


And for the “u” verbs, we change the ending “u” sound to an “a” sound as in 書く kaku -> 書か.

手紙を書かない
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

スカイダイビングをしません
sukaidaibingu o shimasen.
(I) don`t do sky diving.

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

ゴジラが来ない
gojira ga konai.
Godzilla doesn`t come.

To review the 3 types of verbs click here.

100 GRAMMAR POINTS

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