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what's the difference between using -じゃないかった vs -ないかった for past negative of verbs? - Feed Post by Rifael

what's the difference between using -じゃないかった vs -ないかった for past negative of verbs?
posted by Rifael

Comments 12

  • mog86uk
    Firstly, the past tense of the i-adjective ない is なかった.

    -なかった is used to form the PLAIN past negative of verbs:
    食べる eat → 食べなかった didn't eat
    飲む drink → 飲まなかった didn't drink

    -ませんでした is used to form the POLITE past negative of verbs:
    食べる eat → 食べませんでした did not eat
    飲む drink → 飲みませんでした did not drink

    じゃなかった or ではなかった is the PLAIN past negative of です (だ) copula verb...

    じゃ = では, just contracted (squashed)
    で = the adverbial form of the です (だ) copula
    は = 'wa' topic particle, used to show contrast.

    じゃ + ない = 'is not'
    じゃ + なかった = 'was not'

    I'm not sure じゃなかった even be attached directly to verbs?
    食べる eat + じゃなかった was not = something like 'was not eat' lol

    You can have それは食べ物じゃなかった = 'that was not food'
    食べ物 (food) is a noun though, not a verb.
  • Rifael
    OOOHHH i see i see...

    bleh i wish grammar guides would explain it that simply


    oh yeah, and what's the uses of the て-form・です・ます. iirc, です for nouns and ます for verbs?

    LOL and if by chance you remember which section nihongosources explains that in the grammar part that'd be lovely too quq
  • Rifael
    UGH i think my only big complaint is going through aaaaaaaaallll of the inflections just to get to a finished conjugation..
  • Rifael
    and especially all of those mentions of the more archaic forms of conjugation (though im going to assume that's more info for reading than so much speech)
  • mog86uk

    I hadn't read that part of the grammar section for a while. It looks rather more complicated and interesting than I'd remembered.
    You'd probably be better off finding somewhere simpler to get to grips with this stuff.

    You're pretty much correct about です and -ます.

    -ます gives more politeness to the verb and to the whole sentence of that verb. This form is only needed for the verb at the end of the sentence -- any earlier verbs should be in plain form and won't be impolite at all.

    です is a polite form of the copula だ.
    The copula is what joins a subject with what's said about it. (The copula is attached to the complement to link it to the subject).

    The copula doesn't really have any real meaning; however, 'is', 'am', 'are', are some of the words you'd think of when reading Japanese.

    あなたは 'you' [subject] + 変 'strange' [complement] + だ (are) [copula].
    'You strange' in English would still be understood, but the copula ('are') links it properly with a tense and to other stuff.

    です is sometimes added unnecessarily, just to make a sentence sound more polite.

    だ = plain (regular, shortened form)
    である = plain (full form)
    です = polite form

    ある = to be (existence) [verb]
    あります = -ます polite form of ある.
    であります = -ます polite form of である

    I'm not sure what you were asking about for the て-form, but I hope some of this helped. :)
  • mog86uk
    Hmm, the link didn't work properly because of the hash symbol?

    You'll need to copy-paste it into address bar if you still want to go there.
  • Rifael
    yeah i took the time to actually read carefully what was said in nihongoresources and now it makes a lot more sense xD. leisurely reading it didnt work so well...

    oh well, now it's just a lot more reading to do.

    anyways thanks a lot!! :DD

    also wow ます・です has a lot less conjugation than i remembered lol. i think. it's only past/present/past-negative/present-negative right?
  • Rifael
    i was always overwhelmed with a lot of inflections and conjugation (since, from what i see, you're given five inflection bases, two of which are actually used often...) and always assumed there was a LOT more to it than that xD
  • Rifael
    oh wait wait, don't leave this comment yet!

    i thought tae kim said だ and です dont serve the same function?

    also, my general question was what is the て-form even used?
  • mog86uk
    It took me a while to find what Tae Kim said, but you're probably on about these pages?


    I think I understand now why you're a little confused.

    だ here really is just the plain form of the more polite です copula.

    Tae Kim wrote that だ is used after nouns and na-adjectives to declare something. Then wrote that you don't actually need the だ, but だ makes it more emphatic or forceful.
    This だ is still the same だ copula. It kinda sounds like it's some different special declarative だ particle, but it isn't.

    What he wrote is correct though. Using だ copula in it's plain form at the end of a sentence is declarative. It's not the most polite way to state something, but this part of the guide is for casual conversation.


    Here we reach politeness in the guide, where です and -ます are now introduced.

    Some confusion probably results when you read the adjective + です section.

    Tae Kim wrote that for i-adjectives:
    かわいい = casual; かわいいです = polite
    Here, as I mentioned in a previous post, です is added unnecessarily just to make the sentence more polite.

    For na-adjectives, he writes:
    静か/静かだ = casual; 静かです = polite.
    He states that when making it polite, you have to be careful if there's a だ. He put that you have to remove the declarative だ and replace it with です.
    This can sound a bit confusing, as all you're actually doing is changing the copula from it's plain to it's polite form...

    Another thing he states is that declarative だ can't be used for i-adjectives casual form. This makes sense, because i-adjectives are verbal -- unlike na-adjectives, which are adjectival nouns and therefore use the copula.
    The 'na' in 'na-adjective' refers to their usage of the な variant of the だ copula.

    Anyway, the main point was this:

    だ and です have the same function.
    だ is plain, making it casual and declarative, whereas です is polite, and therefore doesn't sound declarative.

    I was going to mention て-form too, but this post became kinda a bit long... guess I got carried away. :P
  • mog86uk
    Guess I should add that both です and だ are declarative, in that they both express 'state-of-being'.

    What I meant by declarative was the more emphatic and forceful declaration type of thing.
    Whereas for です, I meant it is used to express 'state-of-being' in a more just stating it blandly, without any forcefulness, just politely.

    Both things probably mean declarative though? lol, oops! :P
  • Rifael
    lol no i get what you mean xD

    wait wait, aaah DON'T LEAAAVE D8

    what's the て-form used for? i keep seeing it mentioned and how every guide keeps saying "OH IT'S SO USEFUL YOU NEED TO KNOW IT" but then never actually say anything about it