Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 6: 15/24


Never, By no means


(けっ)して + Verb[ない]
(けっ)して + [い]Adjective[ない]
(けっ)して + [な]Adjective + ではない(1)
(けっ)して + Noun + ではない(1)

(1) じゃない


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About 決して〜ない

(けっ)して by itself is the て form of the verb (けっ)する 'to determine'. However (けっ)して is special in that it is considered to be a stand-alone adverb. As an adverb, it carries the meaning of 'decidedly', or 'assuredly', and is used in sentences that contain ない, in order to convey 'never (A)', 'under no circumstances (A)' or 'by no means (A)'.
Like many other adverbs in Japanese, (けっ)して can appear at the beginning of a sentence, or directly before the word it is modifying (which will be in its ない form).
  • この(みち)はものすごく(あぶ)ないので(けっ)してグループから(はな)ないで(くだ)さい
    This road is very dangerous, so please under no circumstances leave the group.
  • (けっ)して(いた)くないとは()えないです
    By no means, can I say that it does not hurt.
  • この()(もの)(けっ)して危険(きけん)ではないです
    This ride is by no means dangerous.
  • この()(けっ)して(わる)(ひと)ではないけど時々(ときどき)失礼(しつれい)なときがある
    By no means do I think that this person is bad, but they are rude at times.
While the translation is 'never', the literal meaning of (けっ)して is 'decidedly not (A)', or 'assuredly not (A)', simply emphasizing the negative point within a sentence.
(けっ)して may also sometimes be paired with other structures that are not specifically negative, the primary example of this being ものか (a grammar point that we will learn about later). ものか strongly confirms a statement as being something that does not exist/will not be done.
  • この宝石(ほうせき)決して(わた)すものか!
    There is no way I will hand over this treasure.
  • (まえ)決して(かね)()すものか!
    There is no way I will lend you money.


  • トムは(けっ)して(あたま)(わる)わけではない(たん)なる(なま)(もの)だけだ。

    Tom is by no means dumb, he is simply lazy.

  • 何回(なんかい)友達(ともだち)()こうと(さそ)われても、(けっ)して()ない

    No matter how many times my friends pressure me to go, I will never go.

  • (うそ)をついたら(けっ)して(ゆる)ない

    I will never forgive you if you lie to me.

  • (なに)があっても、(けっ)してあきらめない

    I will never give up, no matter what happens.

  • (かれ)(けっ)して妥協(だきょう)ない(ひと)だ。

    He is a person that never compromises.

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決して〜ない – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (8 in total)

  • Pushindawood


    @codewiz I have updated the alternative answers to include 絶対. Cheers!

    Working on it!

  • Yryrdz


    Can this grammar point work with negative desire form? I.E; 決して諦めたくない。I don’t see why not but I’m just confirming here.

  • Daru


    Straight from the writeup:

    As an adverb, it carries the meaning of ‘decidedly’, or ‘assuredly’, and is used in sentences that contain ない, in order to convey ‘never (A)’, ‘under no circumstances (A)’ or ‘by no means (A)’.

    So yeah! It can be used with ~たくない. The key here is for the verb to be in its ない form.

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