Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 5: 7/12

る-Verb (Negative-Past)

る - Verbs (Negative-past tense)

When a past negative sentence has a connection with the present, for example, something was expected to happen but has not happened for the moment, the verb[て] + いません construction is used instead


​​() + なかった
​​() + なかった
​​() + なかった


  • Part of Speech


  • Word Type

    Auxiliary Verb

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About る-Verb (Negative-Past)

In order to form the negative past form of る-Verbs, you will need to remove the る, and then follow it with the auxiliary verb ない (or ます), conjugated into their past forms. This will either be なかった (casual), or ませんでした (polite).

A semi-polite form may also be used. This is constructed by using なかった, and then simply adding です. This form is not grammatically correct, but is so common that most sources (and native speakers) would consider it correct.


  • 寿司(すし)()べなかった

    I didn't eat sushi.

  • テレビ()なかった

    I didn't watch TV.

  • (かね)()りなかった

    I did not borrow money.

  • (はや)()きなかった

    I didn't wake up early.

  • これ(おし)えなかった

    I didn't tell you this.

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る-Verb (Negative-Past) – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (4 in total)

  • Daru


    It’s a slight difference in nuance!

    見なかった is just saying that you didn’t watch the movie, a flat statement. Nothing else.
    見たことがない focuses on the fact that you haven’t watched the movie. While it seems similar, the nuance here is that seeing that movie is important or relevant to the conversation.

    Depending on the context, it could be as if you were talking about movies, and you said (a bit literally) that you haven’t had the experience of watching that movie, implying it’s something you reckon you ought do or plan to.

    Hope this helps!

  • hetore


    I see!

    I was thinking something along those lines. Like, 見なかった being “I didn’t watch this movie that came out just last week”, and 見たことがない being more like “I have never watched this classic movie from the 90s”, similar to your example of “not having the experience of watching it”


  • Daru


    Happy to help! Good luck with your studies!

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