Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 4: 10/18

じゃないか

Isn't it?, Is it not?

Structure

Phrase + じゃない +

Details

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    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About じゃないか

When learning じゃない and ではない, we briefly mentioned that these constructions are regularly partnered with the particle , in order to form a (usually casual) question. In this lesson, we will further explore this usage.
Unlike じゃない and ではない (which need to come after a noun or な-Adjective), じゃないか is able to be attached to the end of almost any phrase, to indicate a question. This is very similar to finishing a sentence with 'isn't it?' in English.
  • キヨコもうすぐ()じゃないか
    Isn't Kiyoko coming soon?
  • そのカメラ(たか)じゃないか
    That camera is expensive, isn't it?
  • この着物(きもの)綺麗(きれい)じゃないか
    This kimono is beautiful, isn't it?
  • あなた(くるま)(わたし)(くるま)より(はや)じゃないか
    Your car is faster than my car, isn't it?
When じゃないか is too casual, ではないか will be used instead. Despite being more formal, this may sound a bit stiff at times, so is best only used when politeness is expected.
  • これ台風(たいふう)影響(えいきょう)ではないか
    This is the typhoon's effect, isn't it?
  • (あそ)んでないで明日(あした)テスト勉強(べんきょう)(ほう)がいいではないか
    Without mucking around, wouldn't it be better if you studied for the test tomorrow?

Examples

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    ()()わせに()(はや)じゃないか

    You came a little early for the meeting, didn't you?

    あなた(かあ)さん九時(くじ)までに(かえ)ってきて()ていたじゃないですか

    Didn't your mom tell you to be home by nine?

    この(はし)(わた)(こわ)んじゃないか

    It is scary crossing this bridge, isn't it?

    そのことじゃなかったか

    It was about that, wasn't it?

    もう()じゃないか

    It will finish already, won't it?

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じゃないか – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (11 in total)

  • nekoyama

    nekoyama

    I think it’s pretty similar to he’s/he is. It’s just that how important that distinction is depends on the situation. In a normal spoken conversation, using the standard contractions is normal and expected but so is the appropriate level of politeness and respect and so on. Being slightly more formal every once in a while is not a big deal. On the other hand, in a scientific paper or in a wikipedia article, no politeness or respect are expected but a formal written style absolutely is. Slipping into casual speech can well look completely out of place.

  • simias

    simias

    Makes sense, thank you for the help as always!

  • Siesta

    Siesta

    It’s super confusing that de wa nai ka is the polite example, but it’s not accepted as a correct answer. They only except desu.

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