ない ~ はない - Grammar Discussion

There is not ~ that is not/does not

Structure

  • いAdj[ くない ] + Verb[ ない ]
  • なAdj[ じゃない ] + Verb[ ない ]
  • Verb[ ない ] + Noun + ない

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私の家族の中で海外に行った ことのない 人はいない。
There is not a single person in my family who has not traveled abroad.

Why is の used here instead of が? Is this a different from [たことがある]?

@deltacat3 Hey! 行ったことない is a relative clause and means the same thing as 行ったことない. The clause modifies 人, so it means “the person who has never gone.” Here are some more examples of が being switched out for の. I hope this helps! Cheers.

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ゆめを見 ない 人 がいない だろうか。

Why is using here instead of also correct?

Grammar info seems to imply that it is not:
Verb[ ない ] + Noun + ない

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@Scyamntic
Hey and sorry for the late answer :bowing_man:

This comes to the difference between が and は, to make it simple:
A) ゆめを見ない人 が いないだろうか。=
In this room, ゆめを見ない人 が いないだろうか。
In this building, ゆめを見ない人 が いないだろうか。
In this city ゆめを見ない人 が いないだろうか。
ゆめを見ない人 are THE “specific” people (and therefore limited)

vs

B) ゆめを見ない人 は いないだろうか。=
Statement in “general”, ゆめを見ない人 は いないだろうか。

This is why は generally fits better in this type of sentences, especially if there is no specific context.

I hope it makes it a bit more clear,
Cheers!

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That clears it up wonderfully as well as confirm a suspicion that I have had for a while that が has a specificity about it while は deals more the “thing as such”. Very illuminating thank you!

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Regarding this example:

Maybe I’m not familiar enough with 絶対(ぜったい), but I don’t understand why the answer is ない instead of じゃない.

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@GregX999
Hey :blush:

Think of 絶対 in this sentence and context as a contraction of 絶対に, an adverb (adverbs can modify/describe adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs) meaning “absolutely”, not a noun. じゃない can only follow nouns and なadjectives so ない is used instead. By the way 絶対(に)ない is a commonly used expression that means: absolutely not/definitely not/no way and so on.

I hope it helps,
Cheers!

If something is not clear, feel free to ask :slight_smile:

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