Differences between ずにはいられない and ないではいられない

Hello! I am having a hard time identifying any differences between these two ways of saying “I can’t help but do/feel”

  • ずにはいられない

  • ないではいられない

Here is a review that I got wrong for context:

  • 大好だいすきなお笑わらい番組ばんぐみを見みて、 わらわないではいられない 。[笑う] Correct

  • 大好だいすきなお笑わらい番組ばんぐみを見みて、 わらわずにはいられない 。[笑う] Wrong

From what I understand, ないではいられない is more formal and ずにはいられない is used more often is casual speech.

Thanks in advance for any help with this matter!


I believe this is backwards. In other usages, ずに is the formal/written version of ないで. Bunpro also shows 硬 for ずにはいられない but not ないではいられない, which I think confirms what I said.

I think it’s fair to say that the sentence you posted seems more appropriate in spoken context, not written context. So based on that it should use ないではいられない since that’s the version more appropriate for spoken language.

Anyway, that’s my two cents having never seen these specific grammar points before. :slight_smile:

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Thanks! From doing more review and seeing more examples, I surmised exactly what you are saying. I need to get better at identifying spoken context over written, which I did not think of during that review session.

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