Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 10: 19/22


And certainly not, But certainly not, But, Although, Even though


[する]Verb + こそすれ
Verb[ます]+ こそすれ


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About こそすれ〜ない

Occasionally in Japanese, the adverbial particle こそ will be seen followed by the realis form (sometimes referred to as the perfective form) of verbs. This is a classical verb form that does not have a modern counterpart. However, the hypothetical form has largely replaced the realis form in the manner in conjugates.
The verbs that will be seen altered this way are する ‘to do’, なる ‘to become’, and ある ‘to be’. They will respectively become こそすれ, こそなれ, and こそあれ , and are used specifically for emphasis. Common translations include ‘certainly not (B), but (A)’, or ‘even though (B), actually (A)’. The (B) phrase in this grammar point will include a negative statement, and is usually something that the speaker is responding to or correcting about what another person mistakenly thought.
こそすれ may attach to either the noun part of する-Verbs, or the conjunctive form of standard verbs.
  • このままだと日本(にほん)経済(けいざい)悪化(あっか)こそすれ回復(かいふく)はしないだろう。
    At this rate, Japan's economy will continue to worsen, and certainly not recover.
  • あのカードは世界(せかい)一枚(いちまい)しかないので値段(ねだん)()がりこそすれ()がりはしないだろう。
    That is the only card that exists in this world, so the price will keep rising, and certainly not decrease.
なれ and あれ will be used based on the standard rules of what type of word なる would usually appear with (a noun or adjective), and what type of word ある would usually appear with (a noun).
  • 運動(うんどう)健康(けんこう)のためにこそなれ絶対(ぜったい)(そん)にはならない。
    Exercise will be beneficial for your health, and you certainly won’t regret it.
  • それは(そん)こそなれ利益(りえき)になることはないだろう。
    That would be a loss, and certainly won’t be profitable.
  • (にくし)こそあれ実際(じっさい)(きず)つけようとは(おも)ったこともない。
    I have felt hatred towards you, but I certainly have never thought of actually hurting you.
  • (かれ)はコミュニケーションの能力(のうりょく)こそあれ仕事(しごと)得意(とくい)ではない。
    He has skill in communication, but he certainly is not a skilled worker.
There are cases where the base verb will have been entered in some way, like by having the causative or the passive auxiliary verbs attached to them before the new base will be altered with こそする. So you will need to work out what verb stem is actually being used in any given sentence.
  • 感謝(かんしゃ)されこそすれ文句(もんく)()われる筋合(すじあ)いはない。
    I should be thanked, you certainly are not in the position to complain.




    The security incidents will only increase, certainly not decrease.


    Novel: 'In reality, however, the swordsman's blazing desire for vengeance was intensifying, and certainly not cooling down at all.'


    The strange phenomenon was surprising for many, and certainly not terrifying.


    Her love for the sorcerer strengthened, and certainly didn't weaken.


    I feel gratitude, certainly not something as ridiculous as hatred.

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こそすれ〜ない – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (1 in total)

  • Toldfinger1


    I’ve tried reporting this via the report feature on the page but it has gone unanswered for 2 months. The explanation currently says the imperative form is used to contrast clauses but すれ is not an imperative form. This line should be removed.

    Edit: Has been updated now, thanks much.

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