Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 9: 3/13

ませんか

Won't you, Would you not, Why don't we

Structure

Verb[ない] +

Details

  • Part of Speech

    Expression

  • Word Type

    Sentence Ending Particle

  • Register

    Polite

  • 品詞

    表現

  • 単語の種類

    終助詞

  • 使用域

    敬語

About ませんか

ませんか (or ないか more casually) is an expression that is used after verbs as an invitation. It basically translates to 'won't you do (A) with me?'.

This expression is a little bit different to ましょうか, in that it sounds directly like an invitation to do (A). ましょうか tends to sound more like a suggestion that (A) should be done.

It is recommended to use the ませんか version, as ないか would be a bit too casual to use with someone that you are not very close with (and is also technically not correct Japanese).

To make it clearer that the speaker wants to do (A) 'with' someone, expressions like 一緒(いっしょ) 'together' are often added, for clarification.

To examine the difference between ましょうか and ませんか, let's have a look at how the nuance changes in the same type of sentence.

Here, ませんか will come across as an invitation due to the fact that you are asking the person if they 'wouldn't mind doing (A)' with you. This is the main reason that it is considered a more polite option when inviting someone to do something, than ましょうか.

Examples

--:--

  • 寿司(すし)()べに()ませんか

    Won't you go eat sushi (with me)?

    • サッカーませんか

      Won't you play soccer (with me)?

      • 一緒(いっしょ)文法(ぶんぽう)勉強(べんきょう)ませんか

        Won't you study grammar with me?

        • 風呂(ふろ)一緒(いっしょ)(はい)ませんか

          Won't you take a bath with me?

          • 金曜日(きんようび)()(もの)()ませんか

            Won't you go shopping (with me) on Friday?

            • Get more example sentences!

              Premium users get access to 12 example sentences on all Grammar Points.

            Self-Study Sentences

            Study your own way!

            Add sentences and study them alongside Bunpro sentences.

            • Online


            • Offline

              • Genki I

                Page 62

              • みんなの日本語 I

                Page 44 [CH 6]

              • Genki I 2nd Edition

                Page 92

              • Marugoto Elementary 1 (A2) Rikai

                Page 90

            • Track Resources!

              Bunpro tracks all of the resources you’ve visited, and offers relevant bookmarks of physical books to help with offline tracking.

            ませんか – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (7 in total)

            • Pushindawood

              Pushindawood

              @deltacat3 Hey! This just has to do with the note found on the grammar point’s Meaning page: “[Often used with 一緒に to clarify that the speaker wants to do something together].” Cheers!

            • MikkaT

              MikkaT

              I just wanted to say, that I believe there is a typo in the description.

              image776×490 48.5 KB
            • Fuga

              Fuga

              Hey there! This seemed like a typo on our end so we have just fixed it!

            Got questions about ませんか? Join us to discuss, ask, and learn together!

            Join the Discussion