Lesson 8.4

会話Dialogue 4 image

なに たい
Yamada: 何か食べに行かない?Nani ka tabe ni ikanai?

Wanna go eat something?

Emily:うん、いいわよ。Un ii way yo.


なに た
Yamada:何が食べたい?Nani ga tabetai?

What would you like to eat?

Emily: う〜ん、ファミレスでいい。というか、ファミレスがいい。

Nnnn, famiresu de ii….. To iu ka, famiresu ga ii.

Um, a family restaurant is fine. I mean I’d prefer a family restaurant.


単語 Vocabulary

Romanized Japanese


Other Japanese scripts


nani ka




tabe ni iku



go to eat




not go See 8-4-1

tabe ni ikanai?



Won’t you go to eat? (Invitation)


sentence particle (For female speakers; male speakers, often from Osaka area, use it with FALLING tone)



Hesitation Noise; I’m thinking




family restaurant


て form of です

to iu ka


I mean; rather (reiterating, self-correcting)

te ka


casual form of to iu ka




equal split












rich, rich person

文法 Grammar Notes

8-4-1 Non-Past Plain Negative Forms of Verbs

In 8-1-2 above, we learned how to make the non-past, affirmative plain form of verbs. We now move on to learn how to make the negative form of these verbs.

Group 1: U-Verbs

In order to make the negative form of a verb in this group, change the final /u/ of the affirmative form to /anai/.

nomimasu nomu nomanai ‘drink’

If there is no consonant before /u/ as in kau ’buy’, drop /u/ and add /wanai/. kaimasu kau kawanai ‘buy’

aimasu au awanai‘meet’

As you remember from the kana chart, the sound /w/ in Japanese can only be followed by the vowel /a/. It disappears when followed by other vowels /i, u, e, o /. So, in the stem of kaimasu, we assume that /w/ is dropped before /i/ and it shows up when followed by /a/ in the negative form. In other words, the original forms of the verb ‘buy’ are kawimasu (formal) and kawu (plain) but they respectively become kaimasu and kau due to this phonological requirement.

Group 2: RU-Verbs

For the verbs in this group, replace /ru/ with nai. tabemasu taberu tabenai ‘eat’

Group 3: Irregular Verbs

The four members of this group have the following negative forms.

kimasu kuru konai‘come’ shimasu suru shinai‘do’ arimasu aru nai‘exist’ ikimasu iku ikanai‘go’

Group 4: Special Polite Verbs

The stem of the verbs in this group actually end in /r/, although it disappears in the

~masu form. This is why these five verbs are separated from Group 1.

irasshaimasu irasshari irassharu

To make the negative form, follow the rule for Group 1: change /u/ to /anai/.

irasshaimasu irassharu irassharanai

Remember that adjectives and nouns have two alternative formal negative forms. Similarly, desu can follow the plain negative verb form to form the alternative formal negative forms.


Takaku nai desu.

Takaku arimasen.


Ame ja nai desu.

Ame ja arimasen.


Tabenai desu.


Both forms are formal, but the form on the left is a little more casual than the one on the right.

8-4-2 ~te form of desu; X de ii‘X will do’

We introduced the ~te form of verbs in Lesson 7. Here we add Noun + de (the

~te form of desu.) The ~te form is used to link sentences.

Koohii wa 400-en desu. Keeki wa 500-en desu. 

Coffee is 400yen. Cake is 500 yen.

Koohii wa 400-en de, keeki wa 500-en desu.

Coffee is 400 yen and cake is 500 yen.

Note the difference between the following two.

Koohii de ii desu.Coffee is fine. (It being coffee, I’m fine.)

Koohii ga ii desu.Coffee is good. (Coffee is my first choice.)

In the dialogue above, Emily first mentioned that a family restaurant is fine with her, and then self-corrected to say that she actually prefers a family restaurant by switching de to ga.

Drills and Exercises Headphones


Listen to the audio. Following the first two model exchanges, respond to each cue.

Cue: 相撲、見る?Do you watch sumo?

Response: いや、見ない。No, I don’t.

Cue: 焼き肉、食べる。Do you eat Yakiniku (Korean BBQ)?

Response: いや、食べない。No, I don’t.


Cue: 焼き肉でいい?Would you be okay with Yakiniku?

Response: うん。というか、焼き肉の方がいいよ。

Yes. I mean I prefer Yakiniku.

Cue: 割り勘でいい?Would you be okay with splitting (the bill)?

Response: うん。というか、割り勘の方がいいよ。

Yes. I mean I prefer that.


Say it in Japanese.

Make the following suggestions to a friend, using the negative verb form.

  • Why don’t we see the new movie?
  • Why don’t we do traditional sports rather than baseball?
  • Why don’t we eat Bento in the park because it’s a beautiful day?
  • Why don’t we meet at the entrance of the station at 10:00?
  • Why don’t we take a group picture with everyone?

Correct your statement and restate it as follows.

  • Ramen is fine… I mean I prefer ramen.
  • I’m busy on Friday…I mean I’m busy everyday.
  • I’m coming to your party…I mean I’d like to come to your party.
  • This is NOT my first time eating sushi…I mean I love sushi and eat it often.
  • I’m fine splitting the bill…I mean I’d like to pay…I mean I will pay the whole thing.


Act in Japanese.

  • Invite a friend to go eat something.
  • You’d like to eat Japanese food. Ask a friend if she is okay with it.
  • At the end of the meal, suggest that you split the bill with everyone.
  • Senpai insists that she will pay for everyone. Tell her that you prefer to split the bill.
  • It’s the time to go to the office meeting. You see a co-worker still at his desk. Ask if that means he is not going?



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Beginning Japanese for Professionals: Book 2 Copyright © by Emiko Konomi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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