まい - Grammar Discussion

won’t
intend not to
probably not

Structure

  • Verb + まい
  • Verb[stem] + まい

:warning: する→しまい/するまい/すまい・くる→きまい/くるまい/こまい

Negative volitional form. It is used to express having no intention to do something or conjecture/guess, that something won’t happen based on some reasoning.[negative volition・conjecture]

View on Bunpro

Is it true that Verb[stem] + まい can only work with ichidan verbs and not godan? (leaving aside irregular verbs)

You are backwards.

Verb[] + まい is used for godan verbs
Verb[ない] + まい is used for ichidan verbs

For more information see the linked reading to imabi

Edit: Bunpro calls 終止形 Verb[る]

I checked your link. It confirms what I said.

Sorry if I’m misunderstanding, but it seems clear.

You may be getting confused because both Verb[stem] and Verb[nai] of 食べる is 食べ.

Oh I see what you mean. But then why not just say the stem? Historical reasons?

By the way, the “終止形 of 五段動詞” is the important part to me. You wouldn’t ever have 言いまい, right?

Oops, you are right. It’s 終止形 not Verb[stem] I got mixed up on the English side of things.

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Can someone explain how this point differs from はずがない? Thank you!

Hey there! This one could be hard because they have a very similar translation. The biggest difference between the two is the nuance. They both are used for assumptions, but まい has a stronger nuance of ‘probably not…’. まい is often used when the speaker is not so certain or confident about something. In contrast to this, はずがない is used when the speaker is more confident about their assumption.

For example:
もう失敗するまい。‘I intend not to fail again.’ The nuance this has is ‘I don’t intend to fail again, but I might fail.’ (Very little confidence)

もう失敗するはずがない。‘It is very unlikely that I will fail again.’ When はずがない is used, it shows that the speaker is very confident that they would not fail again, but at the same time, not dismissing the fact that they might fail.

I hope that this explanation helps you understand the difference!

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Very helpful, thank you!