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Learning Negative Imperative Sentences in Japanese Posted by on Nov 30, 2014 in Grammar

When you want to just tell someone, “Don’t talk so loud, please”, how would you say that in Japanese? As a mom, I feel like I use the negative imperative forms all the time with my kids. I know it’s not good to talk to them so negatively, but some days, I just can’t help it! 🙂 So, in my blog post today, I would like to cover some of the examples of negative imperatives in Japanese.


Don’t come here! 

1)  Kocchini konaide! こっちに来ないで!こっちに こないで!

2) Kocchini kuruna! こっちに来るな! こっちにくるな!

Just like the way I explained the imperative sentences the other day in my post (here), there are two ways of saying in negative imperative sentences as well.

The first one is pretty standard way of saying it. The second expression is much more manly and more authoritative.  Most of the ladies will not use the second expression as they would be using the first expression.


Don’t be so loud! 

1)  Urusaku shinaide! うるさくしないで!

2) Urusaku suruna! うるさくするな!


Don’t run! 

1)  Hashiranai de! 走らないで!はしらないで!Hashiranai! はしらない!

2)  Hashiruna!  走るな!

Moms will often tell children, “Don’t run!”, but this one will be translated as  Hashiranai de! 走らないで!はしらないで! in Japanese. Teachers might be also telling students not to run in certain situation, and you will most likely hear them saying, Hashiranai! はしらない! Parents (Moms and Dads) could easily use this expression. The second expression, Hashiruna!  走るな! is often used by men, and perhaps by male teachers.

You will also often see the signs posted at indoor locations, that says ” Hashiruna!  走るな” . It is common to see this sign around the area where you are not to run.


Some more examples of negative imperative sentences.

Don’t fall asleep! 

1) Netara dame! 寝たらだめ!ねたらだめ!

2) Neruna! 寝るな!ねるな!


Don’t spill! 

1) Kobosanaide こぼさないで!

2) Kobosuna! こぼすな!


Don’t fight! 

1) Kenka shinaide! 喧嘩しないで!けんかしないで!

2) Kenka suruna! 喧嘩するな!喧嘩するな!


Don’t drink!

1) Nomanaide! 飲まないで!のまないで!

2) Nomuna! 飲むな!のむな!


There are many occasions for using negative imperative sentences. There are short sentences, but be careful as to how you would use it. If you said in a wrong way, you might insult or offend someone.

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About the Author: keiko

Born and raised in Japan. She currently lives in U.S. with her husband and two kids.