Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 1: 12/18

なくて (Sequence)

To not ~ and ~, Not ~ and ~ (Conjugations)


Verb[ない+ な + くて
[い]Adjective[ + くな + くて
[な]Adjective + では(1)ない + な + くて
Noun + では(1)ない + な + くて

いい → よくくて

(1) じゃ


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About なくて

In Japanese, なくて is a construction that combines ない (in its conjugation form, なく), with the conjunction particle . This results in the same 'and' meaning as the standard form, but with the negative meaning of ない. なくて can be translated as 'to not (A), and…', or 'not (A), and…', depending on what type of word it is used with.
  • (かね)なくて(くるま)()ない
    I don't have money, and I can't buy a car.
  • あのケーキ(あま)なくてまずです
    That cake is not sweet, and tastes bad. ( is frequently added between the stem form of adjectives and ない. Often, this is just for emphasis)
  • (わたし)(くるま)(しず)なくてガソリン()(はや)
    My car is not quiet, and runs out of gas quickly.
  • あれ(いぬ)なくて(ねこ)ないです
    That is not a dog, and not a cat either.
As discussed in our initial lesson about ない, there are two forms of this particular word. One form is an auxiliary verb, and is used with verbs. The other form of ない is an い-Adjective (形容詞(けいようし)), and is used with nouns, な-Adjectives, and い-Adjectives.
The difference between these two, is that the い-Adjective form may have in between it and the word it is connected to (では in the case of nouns and な-Adjectives). With verbs, due to ない being an auxiliary verb, this is not possible.
  • この風呂(ふろ)(よご)なくて、いつもいい(によ)する
    This bath is not dirty, so it always smells good. (Unnatural Japanese, as will never come between a verb and ない)
  • この風呂(ふろ)(よご)なくて、いつもいい(によ)する
    This bath doesn't get dirty, and it always smells good. (Natural Japanese)
なくて is very similar to ないで, another structure that is regularly used with verbs (but may not be used with nouns or adjectives). ないで is far more common when expressing 'not doing' something, while なくて tends to be used almost exclusively for expressing reasons/causes.
  • トーマスまだプレゼントあげないで
    Please don't give Thomas his present yet. (No particular reason, simply implies 'without doing')
  • もらクッキー(おとうと)あげなくて(いもうと)あげ
    I did not give the cookie I got to my brother, but to my sister. (Implies a specific reason for not giving it to the brother)



    なる → ならなくて

    to become → to not become and...


    dislike → not dislike and...


    illness → not an illness and...


    expensive/tall → not expensive/tall and...


    good → not good and...

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なくて – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (12 in total)

  • evil_eye


    This section contains incorrect information:
    it says [い]Adjective[ない] + な + くて

    Except い adjectives are always conjugated with くなくて, not なくて

  • Asher


    Thanks for letting us know about the error! I have just fixed it. It looks like ない was crossed out, when it was just い that should have been crossed out with く following it .

  • Lederhosen42


    I was wondering if I could get some clarification on the caution section of this page discussing the difference between なくて and ないで:

    The page states that なくて is (almost always) used exclusively when providing an explanation, whereas ないで’s usage is more for generally “not doing [verb].” But example sentences earlier on the page have なくて being used to simply state “thing is not [quality/noun] and also not [quality/noun]” or “thing is not [quality/noun] and is [quality/noun].”

    Does this “rule” for なくて only apply when used with verbs? I ask because it seems like the section might be specifically addressing usage with verbs since it mentions ないで is used with verbs, but I wasn’t sure.

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