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Help [て-form + verb] or [(ない-form + ないで) + verb] --> how to translate

xminus1

Sempai
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My Minna textbook says that [て-form + verb] or [(ない-form + ないで) + verb] indicates that the action or state of the preceding verbals accompany the verbs. The example sentences given to illustrate the construction are straightforward.

Later on I encountered the following exercise sentences:

傘を持って出かけます。​
傘を持たないで出かけます。​

I am translating these as "I am going out taking my umbrella;" and "I am going out not taking my umbrella." Or "I am going out without my umbrella". These too I think are pretty straightforward.

Then I encounter this pair of sentences:

朝ご飯を食べて出かけます。​
朝ご飯を食べないで出かけます。​

The second sentence above I translate as "I am going out without eating breakfast".

The first sentence seems to me a bit different. Does it mean "I am going out eating breakfast"? Or does it mean "I ate breakfast and am going out"? Or even "I am going out to eat breakfast"?

Thanks!
 
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朝ご飯を食べて出かけます。
"I'm going to eat breakfast before I go out" or "I'm going to eat breakfast and then go out."


If the negative is "I'm going out without having done X" (e.g. "I'm going out without eating breakfast") then the affirmative is "I'm going to do X before I go out."

If the negative is "I'm not doing X when I go out" (e.g., I'm not carrying (bringing) my umbrella when I go out), then the affirmative is "I'm doing X when I go out" (e.g. I'm carrying (bringing) my umbrella when I go out.)
 

bentenmusume

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Just to follow up on Chris-san's explanation... I'm not exactly sure what's confusing you here.

Both of the sentence pairs are identical, in that sentence #1 of each describes performing the second action having done (after doing) the first, and sentence #2 describes performing the second action without having done the first.

Your confusion seems to arise from the English translations you're assigning to both of the sentence #1's. Translation can be helpful to check as to whether you fully understand the meaning of a Japanese phrase or sentence, but you shouldn't rely on translation to interpret/understand Japanese grammar, because many times the most natural English translation of a given sentence will not correspond to the Japanese sentence structure (and there are times where certain nuances are not effectively translatable).

One thing that perhaps might be confusing you is that the Japanese verb 持つ by itself doesn't mean "take" as in "bring something from one place to another" but literally "take into hand". If I see an umbrella in an umbrella stand, reach out, grab it, and lift it up, I could describe what I just did as 傘を持った (and, of course, my current state as 傘を持っている). 食べる, on the other hand, maps quite closely to the English "eat".

Maybe that can help you see how both of the sentence #1's are describing the same exact sequence of events: A person taking an umbrella into hand and (then) going out (with the umbrella in hand), and a person eating breakfast and (then) going out (with the food in his/her belly).
 

xminus1

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Thank you both very much. And bentenmusume, your follow-up explanation was indeed very helpful. 🙏
 
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