Grammar Info
N5 Lesson 6: 5/13

Is not, Isn't

Cannot be used with, い-Adjectives

[な]Adjective + では(1) + ない
Noun + では(1) + ない

[な]Adjective + では(1) + ありません(2)
Noun + では(1) + ありません(2)

(2) ないです
Part of Speech Verb
Word Type Auxiliary Verb
Register Standard
品詞 動詞
単語の種類 助動詞
使用域 一般
じゃない is the casual form of ではない. では is regularly contracted to じゃ in Japanese, so is worth remembering as its own structure. じゃない (casual), or ではない (semi-polite) are the structures used for creating the negative form of nouns and な-Adjectives.
These structures are simply added to the base form of the noun or な-Adjective.
  • これ食(た)べ物(もの)じゃない
    This isn't food.
  • この携帯(けいたい)便利(べんり)じゃない
    This cell phone is not useful.
じゃ and では can also be used with the negative ます form of ある, to create the polite variant.
  • それ飲(の)み物(もの)ではありません
    That is not a drink.
  • あなた部屋(へや)綺麗(きれい)ではありません
    Your room is not clean.
ない is sometimes said/written as or ねえ. However, this is considered very casual, or even a bit rough. Accordingly, it is best avoided in most conversations.
  • 俺(おれ)馬鹿(ばか)じゃねえよ。
    I’m not stupid.
じゃない is used very frequently to ask questions. This is similar to じゃないか, a grammar point covered in another lesson. However, the nuance difference is that じゃない as a question is a little bit more blunt, like ‘isn’t it?’ in English. On the other hand, じゃないか is more like ‘don’t you think?’.
  • これ無理(むり)じゃない
    This is impossible, isn't it? (More direct statement)
  • これ無理(むり)じゃない
    Don't you think this is impossible? (More direct question)
When じゃない is used as a question, it will usually be obvious, due to a rising tone.
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It is not a dog.
I am not a teacher.
It is not beef.
Genki I
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Genki I 2nd Edition
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みんなの日本語 I
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