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Xがない vs. Xをもっていない


19 Feb 2017
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Hey all.

So I'm trying to get a better idea of how to differentiate when it is or isn't appropriate to use one or both of these phrases, as they can have similar meanings.

For example, what would be the difference in me saying おかねがない and おかねをもっていない? For example, in response to the question "Do you have money?" I assume the sentences have the same meaning. From what I understand though, technically they interpret differently: "There is no money" vs. "Not holding money", and so I assume any difference (or indeed sameness) in their meanings would be dictated by context.

Also, I assume there are instances in which only the former could be used appropriately, for example: じかんがない makes sense while じかんをもっていない doesn't (as time is not a tangible object that can actually be held).

Please correct me if I'm wrong on anything here.

Thanks fam.


22 Feb 2008
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Those are almost the same in meaning, but おかねがない tends to be used for relatively long term situation (in other words, in the same nuance as "poor"), whereas おかねをもっていない is for the current situation (e.g. "I forgot my wallet at home"). Of course the context is the king, so いまてもとにおかねがない "I have no money in hand" is possible, though.

Some intangible words, for instance 関心 concern, 興味 interest, 野心 ambition, 知識 knowledge or 技術 skill, can be used with ~をもっている, so it depends on the word.
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