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zuni and nai form

beluga

先輩
10 Nov 2003
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Hi,

I was told by my sensei that they are the same. However, I wonder if there is any difference in how it's used.

Thanks
 
From what I've learnt, 'zuni' means 'nai de'. Although the meanings of 'zuni' and 'nai' are quite the same, the situations in which they're used are different. I like to think of 'zuni' as 'without', while 'nai' as 'don't'. For example:

1) 'tabezuni dekakemasu'
= 'tabenaide dekakemasu'
= 'I go out without eating'
= 'I don't eat and go out' (if directly translated from 'tabenaide dekakemasu')

2) 'kakazuni oboeru'
= 'kakanaide oboeru'
= 'I memorize without writing'
= 'I don't write and memorize' (if directly translated from 'kakanaide oboeru')

But beware of another underlying meaning of 'nai de'. It's often used by parents in telling their kids not to do something. For example:
'Terebi wo minai de nenasai.'
= Don't watch TV and go to sleep. ('~nasai' form is a 'meireikei' or commanding form)

It's different from the above (1) and (2) examples in a sense that this one is a commanding form, and it's usually used with '~nasai'. (1) and (2) are something like "he/she/I (do something) without (doing another thing)", which is more of a fact than a command.

Hope this helps. =)
 
Thanks.

Yea, I made a mistake. What I meant was "nai de" rather than "nai".

1) 'tabezuni dekakemasu'
= 'tabenaide dekakemasu'
= 'I go out without eating'
= 'I don't eat and go out' (if directly translated from 'tabenaide dekakemasu')

2) 'kakazuni oboeru'
= 'kakanaide oboeru'
= 'I memorize without writing'
= 'I don't write and memorize' (if directly translated from 'kakanaide oboeru')

For the "I don't eat and go out", I think it should be "tabenakute dekakemasu" and "I don't write and memorize" should be "kakenakute oboeru".

I can't figure out which one do you mean by more commanding... nai de form or zuni form?
 
beluga said:
Thanks.

Yea, I made a mistake. What I meant was "nai de" rather than "nai".



For the "I don't eat and go out", I think it should be "tabenakute dekakemasu" and "I don't write and memorize" should be "kakenakute oboeru".

I can't figure out which one do you mean by more commanding... nai de form or zuni form?

Oh I see. So you mean what is the difference between 'zuni' and 'nai de'? Okie, 'nai de' has a few meanings I think. For example:

1) ~naide: Negative meaning, telling someone 'not to (do something)'.
'kakanaide kudasai' = Please do not write.
'ikanaide kudasai' = Please don't go.
'kakanaide' = Do not write. (more casual)
'ikanaide' = Don't go. (more casual)

2) '~nai de~' = '~zuni~' = 'without ~'
I'm not sure for you, but my teacher taught me to recognize 'zuni' as 'nai de'. For the 'tabenaide dekakemasu' and 'kakanaide oboeru', it's more of just trying to illustrate that a person does A without doing B. The 'de' is more of 'and'.
'tabenai, de, dekakemasu' = I don't eat, and, I go out.
'kakanai, de, oboeru' = I don't write, and, I memorize.

Note how I put the commas.
If I just put 'tabenaide' without the 'dekakemasu', then it's just means telling someone not to eat. If I just put 'kakanaide' without 'oboeru', it means telling someone not to write. So this will place them in example (1).

3) '~naide ~nasai'
This is more of parents commanding children, like
'Terebi wo minai de nenasai.' = Don't watch TV and go to sleep.
'Mou asobanaide hairinasai.' = Don't play already and come in.
The first sentence is to tell someone not to do something (similar to (1)), and the 2nd sentence tells the same person to do what you expect him to do.


Notice the squigglies in (1), (2) and (3). For (1), I put ~ in front of 'nai de', but not at the back. For (2), I put ~ in front and back of 'nai de'. For (3), the 2nd sentence has '~nasai'. So:

(1) ~nai de: Don't ~
(2) ~nai, de, ~: I do ~ without doing ~
(3) ~nai de ~nasai: Don't ~ and do ~

For 'zuni', it just means the one in (2). Maybe it's better to think of it as 'without'. 'Tabenakute dekakemasu' etc. is technically correct, but I think the teacher wants to try illustrating with 'nai de'? Hmm.... This is just how I learnt it from my teacher. Maybe someone better can help? 😌
 
Thanks,

I certainly never new there's a difference between one that has comma and one that does not. For the one with comma, I would have put it as kute form. If it's just comma that made the difference in the meaning, it would certain be difficult to put it in verbal form. 😊 I do agree that nai de does have the nuance of commanding someone.
 
1) 'tabezuni dekakemasu'
= 'tabenaide dekakemasu'
= 'I go out without eating'
= 'I don't eat and go out' (if directly translated from 'tabenaide dekakemasu')

2) 'kakazuni oboeru'
= 'kakanaide oboeru'
= 'I memorize without writing'
= 'I don't write and memorize' (if directly translated from 'kakanaide oboeru')

Im not 100% sure but to me "kakunakutemo oboeru" sounds better.
"naide" and "zuni" are better suited to when giving instructions, like 'write this without using a dictionary' (jisho wo tukawanaide kore wo kaite)

(Soz about that)
 
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Ewok85 said:
Im not 100% sure but to me "kakunakutemo oboeru" sounds better.
"naide" and "zuni" are better suited to when giving instructions, like 'write this without using a dictionary' (jisho wo tukawanaide kore wo kaite)

(Soz about that)
I think of both "naide" or "zuni" as "without" and not limited to instructions at all. It just depends on the inflection you give the main verb. As for "Kakanakutemo oboeru" that is more like "even if I don't write it down/even without writing it, I will still learn it."
 
Yea, I clearly knows that zuni and nai de is of same usage but I'm sure there's some difference somehow right? Otherwise, why are there 2 difference words anyway.
 
beluga said:
Yea, I clearly knows that zuni and nai de is of same usage but I'm sure there's some difference somehow right? Otherwise, why are there 2 difference words anyway.
There probably is. I thought zuni was more conversational at one point, but it is used in the paper a lot as well. Maybe because it is shorter and can fit a headline better.....;) I'll try to ask and see.
 
I just asked someone about this and he said while there are no restrictions on usage for one or the other, "zu ni" presents a more formal, elevated tone whereas "nai de" is widely used in everyday conversation.
 
Elizabeth said:
I just asked someone about this and he said while there are no restrictions on usage for one or the other, "zu ni" presents a more formal, elevated tone whereas "nai de" is widely used in everyday conversation.
Thanks Elizabeth, appreciate that.....
 
And here's what he said directly now that those metatags are turned off and hopefully everyone can read this.

「ずに」の方がちよっと堅い言い方ですね。
「ないで」が日常会話では多く使われるでしょう。命令形でも使います。
 
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