Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 7: 6/18

ないで (Casual Request)
(Please) do not (for me), Casual request

Structure
Verb[ない]+
Details
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Information
In a similar way to how ないでください means ‘please don’t do (A)’, ないで means ‘without doing (A)’. This is a construction that combines the 助動詞(じょどうし) (auxiliary verb) ない, with the 格助詞(かくじょし) (case-marking particle), .
ないで usually has an (A), and a (B) clause, where the (B) clause will further explain another action that was done ‘without doing (A)’.
  • 日本(にほん)靴(くつ)脱(ぬ)がないで人(ひと)家(いえ)に入(はい)怒(おこ)られます
    If you go into someone's house without taking off your shoes, they will get angry at you.
  • 晩(ばん)ご飯(はん)食(た)べないで待(ま)っててくれ?ごめん
    You waited for me without eating dinner? I'm sorry.
  • カーテン閉(し)めないで寝(ね)から朝(あさ)4時(じ)に起(お)き
    I slept without closing the curtain, so I woke up at 4 in the morning.
When using ないで, the (A) phrase is often something that is ‘expected’ to have been done, and is therefore surprising in some way that (B) was accomplished without it.
  • 昨日(きのう)風呂(ふろ)に入(はい)らないで寝(ね)
    Yesterday, I went to bed without taking a shower. (Despite having a shower being expected before bed)
Caution
Be careful of the following two structures:
(A) ないで (B) - Without doing (A), (B)
(A) なくて (B) - Without doing (A), (B)
Technically, these two constructions share a similar meaning. However, in modern Japanese ないで is used more frequently when the (B) action is being highlighted as being done without (A). On the other hand, なくて is used when (A) is being given as a reason for why something else was/wasn’t done.
  • 昼(ひる)ご飯(はん)温(あたた)めないで食(た)べ
    I ate my lunch without heating it up. (Event 2 happened without event 1)
  • インターネット繋(つな)がらなくて困(こま)ってる
    I am bothered because the internet isn’t connecting. (Event 2 happened because of event 1)
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姉(あね)弟(おとうと)言(い)う:「頼(たの)むから、親(おや)何(なに)言(い)わないで。」
Elder sister speaking to her younger brother: "I am asking you, so (please) don’t tell our parents."
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母親(ははおや)子供(こども)言(い)う:「お父(とう)さんまだ寝(ね)ているので大(おお)きい声(こえ)出(だ)さないで。」
Mother speaking to her child: "Since dad is still sleeping, (please) don’t talk loudly."
ね is used when requesting confirmation/agreement, it expresses the hope that the listener will understand the speaker's expectation, therefore it can make the request even softer. ないでね is often used when speaking to children.
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母親(ははおや)子供(こども)言(い)う:「いい子(こ)だから泣(な)かないで。」
Mother speaking to her child: "You are a good child, so (please) don’t cry, okay? "
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