Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 3: 13/23

事(こと)はない
there is no need to, never happens

Structure
Casual
Formal
Verb + ことはない
Verb + ことはない
Details
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Information
ことはない is an expression that has two primary purposes in Japanese. To convey that there is ‘no need for (A)’, or that ‘(A) never happens’. In these cases, (A) is a verb that will appear directly before こと. ことはない is often used to reassure someone that something will not come to pass.
In this expression, the 副助詞(ふくじょし) (adverbial particle) は is working to present (A) as the extent (a regular role of adverbial particles), while the 形容詞(けいようし) ない negates that extent. This negation is up to interpretation, with the literal meaning simply being ‘There is no (A)’.
  • そんなに慌(あわ)てることはないまだ時間(じかん)いっぱいあるからゆっくりやればいいよ。
    There is no need to rush that much. We still have a lot of time, so it is okay if you pace yourself.
  • 10年(ねん)前(まえ)に親(おや)喧嘩(けんか)てから、親(おや)話(はな)すことはない
    Ever since I fought with my parents 10 years ago, I have not talked to them.
Caution
This structure is very different to たことがない, which presents a single instance of something not having happened. As opposed to the 格助詞(かくじょし) (case marking particle) が, は presents the verb/verb-phrase as a topic itself in non-past form, highlighting its non-existence. Due to this, ことはない can imply that (A) is unthinkable, or even impossible.
  • そんなに心配(しんぱい)した事(こと)無(な)い。
    There has never been a time where I worried that much.
  • そんなに心配(しんぱい)することはないよ。
    There is no need to worry that much.
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これ以上(いじょう)何(なに)も言(い)うことはない
There is no need to say more.
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沖縄(おきなわ)に住(す)んだら、雪(ゆき)見(み)ることはない
If you live in Okinawa, you never see snow.
'It never happens.'
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落(お)とした鍵(かぎ)を見(み)つけたから、もう心配(しんぱい)することはない
Since we found the keys that were dropped, there is no need to worry anymore.
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Tobira
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