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~てform of the adjectives

Discussion in 'Learning Japanese' started by dhmkhkk, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. dhmkhkk

    dhmkhkk 後輩

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    Hi there,

    I'm learning different forms of the adjectives now, one of them is the ~て form. The explanation was, when you use adjectives to connect two sentences or when you enumerate adjectives, you should use the ~て form. e.g.:

    たなかさんは せがたかくて、とても かっこいい ひと です
    (Mr. Tanaka is a tall, very handsome person)

    すしを たべなくて、 ぎゅうどんも たべない。
    (I don't eat sushi; I don't eat gyuudon either. - I made that up, hope it works like that :emoji_wink:)

    And then I came across dake dewa naku ...~mo, particularly this example:
    さちこは あたまが よかった だけ では なく、とても しんせつ でした
    (Sachiko was not only smart but also kind)

    Question: aren't "nai" forms of the verbs also handled as i-adjectives? Shouldn't it be だけ では なくて?
     
  2. Toritoribe

    Toritoribe 禁漁期
    Staff Member Moderator

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    Indeed the negative form of verbs performs like i-adjectives for instance when conjugating, but they are not the same.
    First of all, the -ku form of i-adjectives can be used to connect clauses as same as the -te form. It's quite the same as the -masu stem and the -te form of verbs are both used to connect clauses. However, the -ku form of the negative form of verbs is not used for enumerating. Instead, し is used for that purpose. Incidentally, し also can be used to enumerate adjectives or verbs.
    e.g.
    寿司も食べるし、牛丼も食べる。
    寿司も食べないし、牛丼も食べない。
    田中さんは背が高いし、とてもかっこいいです。

    As for the difference in meaning between the -ku form and the -te form of i-adjectives,
    the former is more coordinate-like, and the latter is more subordinate-like. Thus, 背が高く、とてもかっこいい are just listing two characteristics, but 背が高くて、とてもかっこいい can have a nuance that 背が高い is the reason/cause of とてもかっこいい. In other words, when the first clause is clearly the cause/reason of the main clause, the -te form is more natural than the -ku form.
    e.g.
    昨日の夜は寒くて(=寒かったので)、風邪をひきました。
    Since it was cold last night, I have caught a cold.

    The same difference also applies to the -masu stem and the -te form of verbs, but the -masu stem is more likely written-words-like, and the -te form of verbs sounds more colloquial.

    Second, you also need to learn a fact that another -te form ~ないで exists for the negative form of verbs. ~ないで has broader meaning than ~なくて, and ~なくて is mostly used to express "cause/reason".
    e.g.
    寿司を食べないで、刺身ばかり食べた。
    I ate only sashimi without eating sushi.

    寿司を食べられなくて(=食べられないので)、悲しい。
    I feel sad since I can't eat sushi.

    And finally, よかっただけではなく is not the negative/"nai" form of a verb. だけ works as a noun, and ではなく is the -ku form of a negative form of the copula だ/です.

    よかっただけだ --> よかっただけではない --> よかっただけではなく

    よかっただけではなくて can be valid there, but なく is more natural since 頭がよかっただけではない is not the cause/reason of とても親切でした, as same as the case of the -te form of i-adjectives.
     
  3. dhmkhkk

    dhmkhkk 後輩

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    Thank you, I think i understand it better now. So, would it be completely wrong to say すしを たべなくて、 ぎゅうどんも たべない? Because I feel like it is not enumeration really, but two different statements. You could place a full stop . between the two parts.
     
  4. Toritoribe

    Toritoribe 禁漁期
    Staff Member Moderator

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    You seems to be misunderstanding something. Your sentence is exactly enumeration of action or volition. That's why I gave an example 寿司も食べないし、牛丼も食べない。 with using し. The reason 寿司を食べなくて/食べないで、牛丼も食べない sounds awkward is that the relation between the two clause in meaning. 寿司を食べなくて/食べないで is not the cause/reason, means or state of the main clause 牛丼も食べない.
    When a period "。" is put after 食べなくて/食べないで, the meaning is changed. It's interpreted as an omission of the word followed it, for instance 食べなくて悲しい/困る or imperative 食べないで(ください) "(please) do not eat".
     
  5. dhmkhkk

    dhmkhkk 後輩

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    Ahhhh so how about おかし を たべなくて、やせている? Or is the cause/result relation too strong to use just ~nakute?

    Thanks! :emoji_smile:
     
  6. Toritoribe

    Toritoribe 禁漁期
    Staff Member Moderator

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    食べなくて/食べないでやせた is acceptable, but 食べないので is more common for the reason/cause of やせた/やせている.
     
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