Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 1: 14/18


Without doing, Not ~ and ~




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About ないで

There are two primary ways in which ないで is used with verbs in Japanese. The first is to express 'without doing (A), (B)'. The second is to request that someone 'not do (A)'. We will examine the first in this write-up.
ないで is a combination of the auxiliary verb ない, and the particle . Due to this, keeps its standard meaning of 'with/by', in relation to 'not' doing something.
  • (さかな)()ない()から、お(なか)(こわ)
    Since I ate fish without cooking it, I got a stomach ache. (Literally, to break one's stomach)
  • アミドアカギかけない()の?(あぶ)ない
    Ami, you sleep without locking your doors? That's dangerous.
When ないで is used to express that '(A) has not been done before doing (B)', this is usually contrary to some kind of expectation. Because of this, ないで is often used to express something that may be surprising to the listener.
  • 上司(じょうし)(つた)ないで(やす)んだの!?
    You took the day off without notifying your boss!?
Be careful of the following two structures:
(A) ないで (B) - Without doing (A), (B)
(A) なくて (B) - Without doing (A), (B)
Technically, these two constructions share a similar meaning. However, in modern Japanese ないで is used more frequently when the (B) action is being highlighted as being done without (A). On the other hand, なくて is used when (A) is being given as a reason for why something else was/wasn't done.
  • (ひる)(はん)(あたた)ないで()
    I ate my lunch without heating it up. (Event 2 happened without event 1)
  • インターネット(つな)がらなくて(こま)てる
    I am bothered because the internet isn't connecting. (Event 2 happened because of event 1)




    To work without taking a break.


    'I want to live without regret.'


    'That person left the toilet without washing their hands!'


    To go to bed without eating dinner.


    My mother said 'Please study without playing!'

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      ないで – Grammar Discussion

      Most Recent Replies (15 in total)

      • mrnoone



        You are correct:+1:

        ないで is not necessarily prohibitive, it means “…not, and…” or “…without…”. It is basically used to connect two clauses, like て form.
        Though it is used in ...

      • Meatdog


        Can we get some examples for this grammar point when it expresses “The second is to request that someone ‘not do (A)’.”?

        Every example sentence I’ve found ultimately fits in the first grammar point “The first is to express ‘without doing (A), (B)’.”

        What would an example of a request to no do (A) look like?

      • IcyIceBear


        Don’t say it (please)

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