What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

Question [Basic Japanese Grammar] ない vs ていない

zuotengdazuo

Sempai
Joined
8 Dec 2019
Messages
739
Reaction score
13
Example sentences from my textbook:
1. 学生のころと、ちっとも変わってないわね。
2. 会社に入ってから、ちっとも給料が上がらないんだ。
3. 昨日の夜のことは全然覚えていない

こんにちは。
Could you please explain why we can’t say the following?
1. 学生のころと、ちっとも変わらないわね。
2. 会社に入ってから、ちっとも給料が上がっていないんだ。
3. 昨日の夜のことは全然覚えない。

Thank you, everyone!
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,184
Reaction score
3,377
Have you already learned about ~ている form of verbs?
 

zuotengdazuo

Sempai
Joined
8 Dec 2019
Messages
739
Reaction score
13
Have you already learned about ~ている form of verbs?
Thank you for the response! Yes, I have. The ている form in sentence 1 and 3 probably indicates the resulting current state. But if we use plain ない form, then 変わらない and 覚えない refer to future. Please let me know if I am right? Or how can I improve my understanding of it?

Even if I’m right about sentence 1 and 3, I still don’t understand why we can’t use 上がっていない to indicate the resulting current state.
Could you please explain it?
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,184
Reaction score
3,377
Your understanding is correct for 覚えていない. 覚えない doesn't work well there since it's the future tense, as you wrote. (It also can be a present habitual action, but doesn't make sense anyway.)
However, 変わらない works well because it can express the present state. The same goes to 上がらない vs. 上がっていない. You can think the two forms are interchangeable in the example sentences #1 and 3.
 

zuotengdazuo

Sempai
Joined
8 Dec 2019
Messages
739
Reaction score
13
Thank you again!
Your understanding is correct for 覚えていない. 覚えない doesn't work well there since it's the future tense, as you wrote. (It also can be a present habitual action, but doesn't make sense anyway.)
I think 覚えない doesn’t work because it’s a punctual verb, so ている is needed to indicate present state.
However, 変わらない works well because it can express the present state. The same goes to 上がらない vs. 上がっていない. You can think the two forms are interchangeable in the example sentences #1 and 3.
But 変わる and 上がる are different in that both of them can be either punctual verbs or stative verbs.
Therefore, 変わらない (stative verb) and 変わっていない (punctual verb) are both present states.
Likewise, 上がらない (stative verb) and 上がっていない (punctual verb) are both present states.

Please check if I understand it correctly? If not, what is the right way to understand it?
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,184
Reaction score
3,377
変わらない and 上がらない express a state, but these forms are not called "stative verb". All the negative forms, including 変わっていない and 上がっていない, are state, in the first place.


Indeed 変わっている and 上がっている can be both "the present state resulting from the past action" and "the present progressive tense", so 変わる and 上がる can be considered both punctual and durative verb. However, 覚えている can be the present progressive tense (e.g. 明日の試験のために今必死で内容を覚えている。) , too, so 覚える can be a durative verb as same as those verbs.

Furthermore, as for 太る, 去年より太った and 去年より太っている are almost the same in meaning, but only 太っていない can be used for the present state, and 太らない can't be interchangeable with 太っていない.

summary
彼は昔と変わった ≒ 彼は昔と変わっている
彼は昔と変わらない ≒ 彼は昔と変わっていない

入社時から給料が上がった ≒ 入社時から給料が上がっている
入社時から給料が上がらない ≒ 入社時から給料が上がっていない

昨夜のことは覚えた ≠ 昨夜のことは覚えている
昨夜のことは覚えない ≠ 昨夜のことは覚えていない

去年より太った ≒ 去年より太っている
去年より太らない ≠ 去年より太っていない

Thus, it depends on the function of the verb (what aspect or tense the verb expresses in the context) whether ~ない and ~て(い)ない are interchangeable or not, and "punctual vs. durative" is not (at least not always) the key.
 

zuotengdazuo

Sempai
Joined
8 Dec 2019
Messages
739
Reaction score
13
Thank you, toritoribe! That’s interesting!
But I still don’t get why 覚えない can only refer to a future state while 変わらない and 上がらない can only be present state?
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,184
Reaction score
3,377
One of the keys would be whether the verb is a volitional verb or not in the context. For instance, in a sentence 私の意思は絶対に変わらない, 変わらない expresses the speaker's will "My will won't change/I won't change my will", unlike in your example sentence 学生のころと、ちっとも変わらないわね。. This 変わらない is not interchangeable with 変わっていない, which can only express the present state. Similarly, 彼は決して階段を上がらない and 彼は決して階段を上がっていない are not the same in meaning since 上がる is volitional here.

As for 去年より太らない, this sentence is different from 去年より太っていない in meaning even when 太らない is non-volitional because 太らない doesn't express the present state here. Thus, "volitional vs. non-volitional" is not the only one key, so you need to check the meaning for each case, after all.
 

zuotengdazuo

Sempai
Joined
8 Dec 2019
Messages
739
Reaction score
13
Thank you again very much. Sorry for the delayed reply. I have been very busy these days.
I seem to have hit something by combing your answers and the explanation in my textbook.
My textbook says when an intransitive verb connotes the sense of change(e.g. 消える、壊れる), the た-form and ている form of it are interchangeable because both forms indicate a resulting present state.

Now I would change this explanation a little by venturing that when a non-volitional verb connotes the sense of change, た-form and ている form of it are interchangeable because both forms refer to a resulting present state. And here goes the interesting thing:

When 覚える means “remember”, it is a non-volitional verb but doesn’t connote a sense of change, in which case using the plain た-form 覚えた would automatically change it into a volitional verb. For example, 昨夜のことは覚えた(past tense)=I memorized about last night. However, this doesn’t happen to non-volitional verbs connoting a sense of change, as in 変わる、上がる、太る.
When 覚える means “memorize”, it is a volitional verb, in which case 覚えた would be past tense or present perfect, and 覚えている is present continuous of course.

Does this make sense to you?

But I can’t think of why 太らない is not the same as 太っていない, but if you could tell me what 太らない means in a specific context, maybe I can try to reason it through. Thank you.

PS: I know 太る generally means “get fat”.
I have googled the word 太らない and found that in many cases it is used as a premodifier of a noun (e.g. 食べても太らない人の「9つの習慣」).
 
Last edited:

bentenmusume

やれやれ
Contributor
Joined
12 Oct 2004
Messages
1,038
Reaction score
778
When 覚える means “remember”, it is a non-volitional verb but doesn’t connote a sense of change, in which case using the plain た-form 覚えた would automatically change it into a volitional verb. For example, 昨夜のことは覚えた(past tense)=I memorized about last night. However, this doesn’t happen to non-volitional verbs connoting a sense of change, as in 変わる、上がる、太る.
When 覚える means “memorize”, it is a volitional verb, in which case 覚えた would be past tense or present perfect, and 覚えている is present continuous of course.
I think you're confusing yourself a bit by thinking of 覚える has having those two separate meanings. 覚える essentially means "commit to memory". When you put it in the -te form 覚えている it means that you're in the state of having committed something to memory. Hence, you "remember" it.

But I can’t think of why 太らない is not the same as 太っていない, but if you could tell me what 太らない means in a specific context, maybe I can try to reason it through. Thank you.

PS: I know 太る generally means “get fat”.
I have googled the word 太らない and found that in many cases it is used as a premodifier of a noun (e.g. 食べても太らない人の「9つの習慣」).
A 太っていない人 is someone who is not fat, i.e. someone who is not (currently) in the state of getting fat.
A 太らない人 is someone who doesn't get fat, i.e. they always stay thin (even though they might eat normally), etc.

The book isn't introducing the habits of people who happen to be thin at the moment, but rather those of people who are able to maintain their body.
 
Top Bottom