Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 5: 18/20

ない~はない

There is not ~ that is not/does not

Structure

Verb[ない]+ Noun + + ない
[い]Adjective[ない]+ Noun + + Verb[ない]
[な]Adjective + じゃない(1) + Noun + + Verb[ない]

(1) ではない

Details

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About ~ない~はない

~ない~はない is an example of a double negative in Japanese, and is a grammar construction that requires careful attention in order not to incorrectly interpret. Both the い-Adjective (形容詞(けいようし)), and auxiliary verb forms of ない may be used in this construction, depending on what type of word is being negated. Let's take a look at a few examples.
  • (かれ)ピアノ()ない(きょく)ない
    There is no song that he can't play on the piano.
  • (わたし)美味(おい)しくない()(もの)()ない
    I don't eat food that does not taste good.
  • (かれ)(やす)ない(くつ)()ない
    He doesn't buy shoes that aren't cheap.
Literally, this grammar pattern is very similar to 'there isn't an (A) that doesn't (B)' in English.
Caution
This term is not to to be confused with なくはない, a more advanced grammar pattern which means 'It's not that it isn't (A)'.
  • (わたし)()ない漢字(かんじ)ない
    There is no kanji that I cannot write.
  • (わたし)漢字(かんじ)()なくはないけど...
    It's not that I can't write kanji, but…

Examples

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  • (わたし)友達(ともだち)(なか)ピザ()じゃない (ひと)一人(ひとり)いない

    There is not a single person in my group of friends that doesn't like pizza.

    • この大学(だいがく)日本語(にほんご)勉強(べんきょう)していない(ひと)いません

      There is not a person who does not study Japanese at this university.

      • (かみ)使(つか)ない会社(かいしゃ)(ひと)ありません

        There is not a single company that does not use paper.

        • あそこカフェ美味(おい)しくないコーヒー絶対(ぜったい)ない

          At that café, there is absolutely no coffee that is not delicious.

          • (ゆめ)()ない(ひと)()ないだろう

            There is not a single person who doesn't dream, right?

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            ~ない~はない – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (13 in total)

            • FredKore

              FredKore

              Because the は already occurs earlier in the sentence, and it’s tied to コーヒー. In this sentence, 絶対 (absolutely, no way) is an adverb describing ない. You could make the same sentence without 絶対 and it’d be the same meaning but a little softer.
              あそこのカフェで美味しくないコーヒーはない
              At that cafe, there’s no coffee that is not delicious.

            • evandcs

              evandcs

              but in this case

              ボスのいえにはテレビをいていない 部屋へやはない

              there was a は before. Shouldnt it be only ない too?

            • FredKore

              FredKore

              You can have more than one は. Each one goes with a different topic.
              The ideas are grouped together like this:
              ボスの家には【(テレビを置いていない部屋)はない】
              Within the topic of: ボスの家に…
              There is none of: ない…
              The topic of: テレビを置いていない部屋.

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