Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 8: 21/23


Without, No


Noun + なし
Phrase + なし
Noun + なし + + Noun


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About なし

Although it is used almost exclusively as a suffix, なし is actually a noun that means ないこと 'thing without'. なし, or ()し when using kanji, will be used after nouns that it is indicating as 'not having (A)'.
Depending on what the speaker wants to convey, なし is often partnered with the auxiliary verb , or its conjunctive form で. なしで will mean '(A) that is without (B)'. When connected directly to another noun, の will be required after なし. Again, this will mean '(A) that is without (B)'.
  • その(かんが)えは間違(まちがい)なし
    That way of thinking is without error. (That way of thinking is flawless)
  • 許可(きょか)なし公園(こうえん)(みせ)()ないで(くだ)さい
    Please don't put up a store in the park without permission.
  • (にく)なし人気(にんき)料理(りょうり)はなんですか。
    What is a popular dish without meat?
なし does not always need to be connected directly to another noun. Often, it can be used in reference to an event or thing that someone wants to skip, or avoid. In cases like this, it may be paired with the case marking particle , to show determination to avoid something.
  • 昨日(きのう)沢山(たくさん)()べたから今日(きょう)昼飯(ひるめし)なしにする
    Because I ate a lot yesterday, I am going to skip eating lunch today.
  • 先輩(せんぱい)()()()がるから先輩(せんぱい)なしにしよう。
    Let's avoid inviting our senpai because he kills the mood.
()し is quite different to ()き, another suffix-like structure that is used to convey 'without (A)'. The primary difference is in the original meanings of these words. Having a relationship with ない, なし simply means 'without'. ()き comes from the う - Verb ()く 'to remove'. Due to this, ()き implies the intentional removal of something. Often ()き and ()し are interchangeable, but not always.
  • わさび()きでお(ねが)いします。
    Remove the wasabi please.
  • 唐辛子(とうがらし)()でお(ねが)いします。
    Without the red peppers please.




    Product label: 'Diet drink without sugar'


    Proverb: 'Dead men tell no tales.' (Literally - Without a mouth)


    Confession of love: 'I cannot live without you.'


    Essay: 'Nowadays, modern humans probably cannot live without smartphones.'


    The test flight was an undisputed success. (without)

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なし – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (6 in total)

  • Aythreuk


  • Pushindawood


    @Aythreuk Hey! You are right. It looks like the “formal tags” are not showing up during reviews. You should be seeing “硬” on the grammar point’s main page which indicates that the grammar point is formal. We will update reviews so that they also display the correct tags. Cheers!

  • Aythreuk


    I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t know that about that kanji. Wanikani only taught it to me as meaning ‘stiff’, but with a little hindsight it’s an easy connection to make.

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