てはい けない - Grammar Discussion

must not・may not

Structure

  • Verb[] + は・いけない

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This is another grammar point where you should probably also mention the 漢字 spelling:

ては行けない

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Generally, when the verb is used as auxiliary etc, it is written using kana alone. That way it is distinguished from using it as a standalone verb.

That’s why てはいけない、ておく(て置く)、てみる(て見る) are all written in kana. Using kanji may confuse readers.

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This says to use long form て, but in 車で いってはいけない, いって is the shortest て form the verb has, isn’t it? Am I missing something? I thought the long form was 行かなくて, as when you’re saying you must do something.

Thanks,
Cris

@CrisH Hey! I think that the confusion may have come from the wording of the hint, with “て + いく” immediately following “long form.” The long form refers to the whole combination of て + は + いけない as opposed to shortened phrases like いっちゃだめ, or いったアカン (Kansai dialect). Cheers!

Ah, that’s probably it. I haven’t come across that yet, so I assumed long form was 行かなくて and short form was 行って. Thanks for clarifying :slight_smile:

@CrisH 行かなくて and 行かないで are the negative て-forms of the verb 行く, while 行って is the plain て-form. 行かなくてはいけない means “(you) must go,” while 行ってはいけない means “(you) must not go.” Cheers!

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