Learn how to conjugate and use the  ない the negative form in Japanese to express “not”

배우다 JLPT N5 Japanese – Japanese Verb 활용 “I buy a book” | Japanese language lesson

여보세요 guys, a hearty 여보세요 and welcome to Bondlingo’s online Japanese lesson on the 동사 negative form ない. This is a fundamental 동사 form that you are going to need to know in order to master Japanese and take yourself to the next level. Today we are going to learn how to form, conjugate and build sentences with this form.

Firstly, we will look at how to take a plain form 동사 and conjugate that into a negative form. Secondly, we will show you when the form is used. From this, we will create some example sentences to really help you see how it is used in various situations. Lastly, we will look at an effective study method that you can takeaway and use in your own time to help you better understand the negative form. With that being said, let’s jump right into today’s amazing lesson!

When can I use the(ない) negative form in Japanese?

So, when is the nai form used in Japanese? Well put simply, you can use it whenever you want to say that you are “not” doing something. I will not study, I will not eat, I will not go there, etc. The nai form can be conjugated into the past too to express “I did not”. We will come onto that into the next section.

So for now remember that it is used when you want to express “to not” or “will not” in Japanese. Let’s look at how the nai form works now and how you can create this negative form.

How do I form the(ない) negative form in Japanese?

When it comes to creating the negative form the first thing you need to do is establish the 동사 groups, see the charts below.

그룹 1 :

IRU/ERU Verbs – Verbs that end in IRU いるand ERUえる.

With these 동사 you need to take off the る and add ない to create the negative form

み る미루보다みないMinaiTo not see
べ べ る타 베루먹다たべないTabenaiTo not eat

These are considered the easiest group to conjugate into the negative form

그룹 2 :

그룹 2의 동사는 음절 ku (구), 구 ()), su (す), mu (む), nu (ぬ), bu (ぶ), u (う), tsu (つ)る).

With this group, you need to take away the final う sound and add あない. Be careful, when you do this with 동사 that end in only う like いう you need to remove the う and add わない.

어떤 사람아루 쿠 To Walk어느 날ArukanaiTo Not Walk
の む노무 마시다の ま んNomanaiTo not Drink

그룹 3:

Is made up of only 2 동사, Suru する and Kuru くる

하는서두할 것하지 않았다.shinaiDon’t do
くる쿠루오시려면이런konaiWon’t come

Although this is not necessarily hard to conjugate, you do need to remember these individually.

We are now going to look at building some sentences so we can understand how it works in various situations.


Let’s build some sentences with the negative form in Japanese.

 Lets take a look at a few sentences to see how the negative form is used. 

Asagohan wo tabenai
I do not eat breakfast
Gakkou ni ikanai
I will not go to school
Nanimo wo iwanai
I won’t say anything
Kono hon wo yomanai
I will not read this book

Be sure to repeat these sentences aloud as many times as you can, this will really help with your mastery of the form.

Study exercise for mastering the(ない) negative form in in Japanese

It’s important that you now go away and spend some of your time either today or tomorrow revising this article in order to master it. What you need to do is write out 10 plain form 동사 and then conjugate them into the negative form.

Next you are going to need to write 10 sentences from these 동사. Once you have done this you will be much more used to the form and will be able to use it in your communication whenever you like. Be sure to come back after a few days and try this exercise again then too.

Thank you all so much for reading our online Japanese lesson today on the negative form. We really hope that you have enjoyed it and most importantly, learnt a lot from it. If you have any questions at all or more suggestions for lessons / articles you would like us to produce, please get in touch. We do this for you and want to ensure we help you achieve your goal no matter what it takes.

Have a great day everyone and see you next time. またね。


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