Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 8: 20/23


Cannot help doing something, Cannot resist doing something

する → せず


Verb[ない+ ずにはいられない


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About ずにはいられない

As mentioned in our ずに lesson, ず is an auxiliary verb that is not commonly used in modern Japanese, except for in set expressions. It has the equivalent role of ない, in expressing that something 'has not', or 'will not' happen. The case marking particle is then combined with the adverbial particle は, and the negative-potential form of いる, いられない. ずにはいられない may be translated as 'cannot help doing (A)', or 'cannot resist doing (A)'.
ずにはいられない will be attached to the indeterminate form of verbs. This is the same stem form as ない uses.
  • 美味(おい)そうなステーキ()(まえ)あったら()ずにはいられない
    If there is a delicious looking steak in front of me, there is no way I can resist eating it.
  • この映画(えいが)()(だれ)でも()ずにはいられない
    No matter who you are, if you watch this movie, there is no way you can not cry.
Although ずにはいられない is often translated as 'cannot resist (A)', the literal meaning is simply 'cannot be without (A)'.
As the modern indeterminate form of する has several different forms, care will need to be taken when conjugating する verbs. While ない joins with し to create しない, ず will join with せ to create せず.
  • この10年間(ねんかん)色々(いろいろ)世話(せわ)になったから先輩(せんぱい)感謝(かんしゃ)ずにはいられない
    This past 10 years, I have been helped a lot by my senpai, so there is no way I can go on without showing them some appreciation.
  • (わたし)(ねこ)アレルギーなのでくしゃみずにはいられない
    I am allergic to cats so I can't not sneeze.




  • 子供(こども)()まれて()ずにはいられない

    You can't help but cry when your child is born.

    • 事故(じこ)()こったら、(たす)ずにはいられない

      When an accident occurs, you can't help but help out.

      • それ(おも)()たびに()ずかしくならずにはいられない

        Everytime I recall that I can't help but get embarassed.

        • (かれ)変顔(へんがお)面白(おもしろ)すぎて、(わら)ずにはいられません

          His strange faces are just too funny, I can't help but laugh.

          • 一部(いちぶ)だけ()んだ小説(しょうせつ)結末(けつまつ)興味(きょうみ)()ようになって、()ずにはいられない

            Since I am so curious about the ending of a book I read only part of, I can't stop myself from reading it.

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