Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 6: 15/24

never, by no means

決して + Verb[ない]
決して + [い]Adjective[ない]
決して + [な]Adjective + ではない(1)
決して + Noun + ではない(1)

(1) じゃない
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使用域 一般
決(けっ)して by itself is the て form of the verb 決(けっ)する ‘to determine’. However 決(けっ)して is special in that it is considered to be a stand-alone 副詞(ふくし) (adverb). As an adverb, it carries the meaning of ‘decidedly’, or ‘assuredly’, and is used in sentences that contain ない, in order to convey ‘never (A)’, ‘under no circumstances (A)’ or ‘by no means (A)’.
Like many other adverbs in Japanese, 決(けっ)して can appear at the beginning of a sentence, or directly before the word it is modifying (which will be in its ない form).
  • この道(みち)はものすごく危(あぶ)ないので決(けっ)してグループから離(はな)れないで下(くだ)さい
    This road is very dangerous, so please under no circumstances leave the group.
  • 決(けっ)して痛(いた)くないとは言(い)えないです
    By no means, can I say that it does not hurt.
  • この乗(の)り物(もの)は決(けっ)して危険(きけん)ではないです
    This ride is by no means dangerous.
  • この子(こ)は決(けっ)して悪(わる)い人(ひと)ではないけど、時々(ときどき)失礼(しつれい)なときがある
    By no means do I think that this person is bad, but they are rude at times.
While the translation is ‘never’, the literal meaning of 決(けっ)して is ‘decidedly not (A)’, or ‘assuredly not (A)’, simply emphasizing the negative point within a sentence.
決(けっ)して may also sometimes be paired with other structures that are not specifically negative, the primary example of this being ものか (a grammar point that we will learn about later). ものか strongly confirms a statement as being something that does not exist/will not be done.
  • この宝石(ほうせき)決して渡(わた)すものか!
    There is no way I will hand over this treasure.
  • お前(まえ)に決してお金(かね)貸(か)すものか!
    There is no way I will lend you money.
Slow Male
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Tom is by no means dumb, he is simply lazy.
No matter how many times my friends pressure me to go, I will never go.
I will never forgive you if you lie to me.
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