Grammar Info
N2 Lesson 2: 2/23

得(え)ない
unable to, cannot

Structure
Casual
Formal
Verb[ます]+ ない
Verb[ます]+ ません
Details
Register Formal
使用域 硬い
Information
  • [〜得ない is a formal way to express "unable to" or "cannot"]
  • [Unlike 兼ねる, ~得ない focuses on internal circumstances that prevent someone from being able to do something]
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一般(いっぱん)の犯罪者(はんざいしゃ)は信頼(しんらい)し得(え)ない人(ひと)だ。
The average criminal is a person you can't trust.
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彼(かれ)の態度(たいど)があり得(え)ない
His attitude is unbelievable.
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私(わたし)その夢(ゆめ)を叶(かな)えることはあり得(え)ない
It is not possible for me to achieve that dream.
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