てよかった - Grammar Discussion

I’m glad that

Structure

  • Verb[ ] + よかった
  • :pencil2:Verb[な + く・て ] + よかった
  • :speaking_head:Verb[ない + ] + よかった

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If ないで is used in speech and なくて is used in writing when is just て supposed to be used? This isn’t explained very well.

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I think if it’s not a negative verb, you just use て. For example, 「行ってよかったです」for “I’m glad he went”. If it’s a negative verb, that’s when you have the two situations. If speaking, it would be 「行かないでよかったです」for “I’m glad he didn’t go”, while the written version would be 「行かなくてよかったです」***.

At least, that’s how I interpret it. If someone wants to correct me in any way, please do!

PS edit: I realized I’m not quite sure how the copula agreement would go here. Would it be です (it is presently good that he didn’t go) or でした (his not going is in the past tense)?

What form is supposed to be used if you’re commenting on a noun or an adjective? Or is there another grammar point used here that I haven’t come across yet that covers this?

I can answer this question. As かった is already past tense you’d use です.

In fact, for い-adjective it’s always です. The only time でした is for past tense nouns and な-adjectives.

See this chart from Tae Kim:

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Oh, great link! Very useful, thanks :+1:

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Is there a link for the difference between なくて and ないで? Everything I can find only mentions なくて (aside from one instance of an unrelated question where the example sentence used ないで).

@Johnathan-Weir Hey! Here’s a pretty good comparison of the two. Basically, there are two instances when なくて cannot be used, while ないで can. ないで can be used when the following circumstances/actions are unrelated to or do not directly correlate with the first phrase (宿題をしないで学校に行った). ないで can also be used when the following phrase is contrastive to the first (宿題をしないでゲームばかりしている). Both ないで and なくて can be used when the following phrase is the result of the first (the first phrase is the reason/cause of the second) (宿題をしないで・しなくて怒られた). Hope this helps! Cheers.

@Pushindawood Sorry that’s my bad for phrasing the question poorly. I already understand ないで vs なくて. I meant it as I wanted a link for specifically for the difference between ないでよかった and なくてよかった.

@Johnathan-Weir Sorry, I should have added a bit after this part:

Since “よかった” (“I am glad”) is a result of the first phase, both ないで and なくて can be used here and mean the same thing. There is just a slight nuance difference that arises from the afore mentioned other uses. As to which is used more often, it seems that なくてよかった is the preferred go-to for most Japanese speakers, however, even the same people will use both interchangeably.

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@Pushindawood

Been a while but I was looking into this again while I’m restudying N4 grammar and I think I’ve found an answer. So based on this link:

And a post I made on HelloTalk about it:

And a few Japanese people I know

なくてよかった is the only one really used in both speaking and writing. But, that in some instances ないで will be used by some 関西弁 speakers or isn’t wrong enough to sound wrong but wouldn’t personally use it.

However, a different person who answered thought they’re both used, even seemingly agreeing about the writing/speaking difference later on, so I’m not sure.

I wish I could find some more official sources cause it seems like there’s almost zero consensus on this. Not sure why I have such an axe to grind against this grammar point. www

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