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

I have no brothers

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
8 Apr 2004
Messages
2,605
Reaction score
47
Dear native English speakers,
Would all of these be used interchangeably? If not, what's the difference between each?
(a) I don't have a brother.
(b) I don't have any brothers.
(c) I have no brother.
(d) I have no brothers.

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
3,375
Reaction score
913
Yes, more or less.

The plural versions sound like a general statement. The singular versions sound like they are within a conversation in response to some mistaken reference to your brother.
 
Joined
21 Jun 2017
Messages
703
Reaction score
95
I don't like C that much, because it's very similar to "I have zero brother", which would be incorrect. To clarify, C itself isn't incorrect, I just don't like it because of the similarity.
 

johnnyG

先輩
Joined
23 Dec 2010
Messages
1,258
Reaction score
525
I was going to say that I don't care for (c) and (d), but then I remembered this.

 

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
8 Apr 2004
Messages
2,605
Reaction score
47
Thanks for the help, mdchachi, Julimaruchan, OoTmaster, and johnnyG.
In the link of johnnyG, she seems to sing like "I have no mother, no father, no sister, no brother. I am an orphan girl." Is that because it is a part of lyrics?
 
Joined
21 Jun 2017
Messages
703
Reaction score
95
If you're asking whether the word choice was poetic in nature, then yes, as always in any halfway decent song. ;) No one would actually talk like that in real life.
 

Isaac

Registered
Joined
15 Aug 2017
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Hello Hirashin, it may be a bit late to say now but I think people missed 'interchangeable' on your post.
In that case:
(a) is the same as (c) and you can use either,
(b) is the same as (d) and you can use either,
all a b c and d are correct in grammar but a and b are more common.
The difference for a/c and b/d:
a/c are single for when you have one thing, (brother)
b/d are for when you have more than one thing. (brothers)
I know in Japanese you do not need to say if something is plural or not but you do in English, normally by putting an 's' at the end of a noun. (brother -> brothers)
I hope I understood your question and was able to help!
 
Top Bottom