Authored by: Naomi H. McGloin , Mutsuko Endo Hudson , Fumiko Nazikian , Tomomi Kakegawa

Modern Japanese Grammar

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415571999
eBook ISBN: 9780203856628
Adobe ISBN: 9781135151393


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The most standard way to express prohibition is to say V-te wa ikenai/ikemasen, which literally means ‘it is wrong to V.’ Other variations of this expression such as V-te wa komaru ‘it is problematic’ or V te wa dame da ‘it is bad’ are also available. This expression conveys a strong tone of command, so this is not used toward superiors. You should use negative requests rather than prohibition toward superiors or strangers, such as -naide itadakenai deshoo ka ‘May I ask you not to do V?’.

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