Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 6: 7/20


Get by without doing something, To get away with


Verb[ない]+ ずに()
Verb[なくて]+ ()
Verb[ないで]+ ()


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About ずに済む

ずに() is a grammar construction used in Japanese to indicate that one can 'get away without doing (A)', or 'it's no problem without (A)'. This structure is just a mix of ず, a literary auxiliary verb that attaches to verbs in the same way as ない (and has the same meaning), に, and ()む, a う-Verb meaning 'to come to pass', or 'to end up'. Literally, it can be thought of as meaning 'it will work out without (A)'.
As mentioned, ず connects to verbs in the same way as ない, so this structure will be seen after the verbs that they are negating.
  • (いま)宿題(しゅくだい)をやっておけば(あと)でやらずに()から、(いま)のうちにやっておこう。
    If I do my homework now, I can get by without doing it later, so I shall do it right now.
  • このVIPパスを使(つか)えば()ずに()みます
    If you have this VIP pass, you can get by without waiting.
As the primary element in this grammar point that controls the meaning is ()む, other negations such as ないですむ, or なしですむ may also be seen. ()しで functions as a suffix, so may be used directly after nouns, unlike ないで and ずに.
  • 今月(こんげつ)契約(けいやく)すると初期(しょき)費用(ひよう)支払(しはら)ないで()ので、今月(こんげつ)(ちゅう)契約(けいやく)することをお(すす)めします。
    We recommend that you sign the contract within this month so that you can get by without paying the initial cost.
  • 今年(ことし)(ふゆ)去年(きょねん)より(あたた)かかったので、ヒーターなしで()みました
    Since winter this year was warmer than last year, I got by without using the heater.
In most cases, (A) will be something that is thought of as unpleasant or bothersome, therefore highlighting the speaker's relief that it can be avoided.




    To get away with not doing the dishes.


    An accident occurred, but I got away without getting injured.


    The criminal got away without being arrested by the police.


    Because I properly paced myself, I got by without exhausting my physical strength.


    If you would match up your plans with everyone else's, then everyone can get by without having to change their schedule.

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ずに済む – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (2 in total)

  • SuperLuxDeluxe


    This doesn’t seem to currently accept any ないですむ conjugation as a correct response. In addition, the grammar point is listed as ないでにすむ instead of ないですむ. This goes against what is written An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese (the textbook I read) as well as other linked “additional reading.” I’ve not encountered なくてすむ yet, but it seems that it’s structured the same way. It would also be nice to know which forms are used more in writing and which are used more in speech. Thanks in advance!

  • mrnoone



    You are absolutely right!

    I have fixed the structure section, and now alternative answers (なくて・ないで) are all accepted.

    When it comes to speech or writing, I would say that the expression that is most likely to be seen is ずに済む. Though it is not really restricted to writing or anything like that, since you can hear it in daily conversations, I would even say that much more often than ないで済む and なくて済む。

    I would say:
    ずに済む=>(the same, or minimally more, thanks to ず sounds a bit oldfashioned)なくて済む=ないで済む

    Frequency (how often it is used):
    ずに済む (especially せずに済む)>なくて済む>ないで済む


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