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



  • Part of Speech


  • Word Type

    Auxiliary Verb

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About じゃない

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.

じゃ and では can also be used with the negative ます form of ある, to create the polite variant.

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.


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.




    It is not a dog.


    I am not a teacher.


    It is not beef.


    This painting is not beautiful.

    () スポーツ、サッカーではありません

    The sport that I like is not soccer.

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じゃない – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (9 in total)

  • gael


    Thanks for the reply and the correction.

    My interrogation remains though: why is ではありません refused as an answer?

  • nekoyama


    It’s not refused. I tested it. I assumed you made the same typo you edited out of your earlier post.

    If the example sentence uses じゃ it will display that as the solution even when you answer では, but it will not refuse では.

  • gael


    Weird. I don’t think I made the typo, but let’s give that as the answer.

    I just had a restest now, and it was accepted, so your explanation is the simplest one.


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