In Japanese, なくて
is a construction that combines ない (in its conjugation form, なく), with the 接続助詞（せつぞくじょし） て
. This results in the same ‘and’ meaning as the standard て
form, but with the negative meaning of ない. なくて
can be translated as ‘to not (A), and…’, or ‘not (A), and…’, depending on what type of word it is used with.
I don't have money, and I can't buy a car.
That cake is not sweet, and tastes bad. (は is frequently added between the stem form of adjectives and ない. Often, this is just for emphasis)
My car is not quiet, and runs out of gas quickly.
That is not a dog, and not a cat either.
As discussed in our initial lesson about ない, there are two forms of this particular word. One form is a 助動詞（じょどうし） (auxiliary verb), and is used with verbs. The other form of ない is a 形容詞（けいようし） (い-Adjective
), and is used with nouns, な-Adjectives
, and い-Adjectives
The difference between these two, is that the い-Adjective
form may have は
in between it and the word it is connected to (では
in the case of nouns and な-Adjectives
). With verbs, due to ない being a 助動詞（じょどうし）, this is not possible.
This bath is not dirty, so it always smells good. (Unnatural Japanese, as は will never come between a verb and ない)
This bath doesnt get dirty, and it always smells good. (Natural Japanese)
is very similar to ないで
, another structure that is regularly used with verbs (but may not be used with nouns or adjectives). ないで
is far more common when expressing ‘not doing’ something, while なくて
tends to be used almost exclusively for expressing reasons/causes.
Please don't give Thomas his present yet. (No particular reason, simply implies ‘without doing’)
I did not give the cookie I got to my brother, but to my sister. (Implies a specific reason for not giving it to the brother)