Grammar Info
N5 Lesson 2: 8/12
う - Verbs[ない・ません] う - Verbs (negative form) Will/Does/Do (not)
Structure
Casual
Formal
Examples:
+ ない
+ ない
+ ない
+ ない
+ ない
+ ない
+ ない
+ ない
+ ない

Exceptions:
ある → ない
Examples:
+ ません
+ ないです

+ ません
+ ないです

+ ません
+ ないです

+ ません
+ ないです

+ ません
+ ないです

+ ません
+ ないです

+ ません
+ ないです

+ ません
+ ないです

+ ません
+ ないです

Exceptions:
ある → ありません
ないです
Details
Part of Speech Verb
Word Type Auxiliary Verb
Register Standard
品詞 動詞
単語の種類 助動詞
使用域 一般
Information
The negative form of う-Verbs are conjugated based on the same set of rules used for other forms of う-Verb conjugation (changing the last kana, followed by the addition of something else). In the case of negation, the additional component will be ない (casual), or ません (polite).
  • 彼女(かのじょ)川(かわ)で泳(およ)がない
    She does not swim in rivers.
  • 彼女(かのじょ)川(かわ)で泳(およ)ぎません
    She does not swim in rivers.
As can be seen here, the kana change differs depending on whether ない or ません is being used. If ない will be used, the last kana will always change from the kana ending with a う sound, to the kana ending with an あ sound within the same row. If ません will be used, the change will be from the う sound kana to the い sound kana. The only exception to this rule are verbs that end in the kana う. Instead of changing to あ (the あ sound kana in the same row), う will become わ, when used with ない.
  • 私(わたし)カラオケで歌(うた)歌(うた)あない。
    I don't sing songs at karaoke. (Incorrect conjugation using あ)
  • 私(わたし)カラオケで歌(うた)歌(うた)わない
    I don't sing songs at karaoke. (Correction conjugation using わ)
While the common translation of ない and ません is simply ‘not’, they actually have several possible nuances. These nuances are ‘don’t’ (usually not), ‘won’t’ (intentionally not), or ‘can’t’ (unintentionally not).
  • 今日(きょう)お酒(さけ)飲(の)まない
    Today, I won't drink. (Intentionally not)
  • 私(わたし)泳(およ)ぎません
    I can't swim. (Unintentionally not)
Both ない and ません are auxiliary verbs (ません is a conjugation of ます), meaning that they have their own set of conjugation rules.
Caution - The ない attached to make the negative form of adjectives is a different word, and therefore follows different conjugation rules. The ない attached to adjectives is an い-Adjective itself, and not an auxiliary verb.
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私(わたし)歌(うた)わない
私(わたし)歌(うた)わないです
私(わたし)歌(うた)いません
I don’t sing.
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Books
みんなの日本語 I
Page 110 [CH 17]
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 47
Try N5
Page 20
Genki I 2nd Edition
88 & 190