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2. Negative Imperatives “Don’t…!”

You already know that you can use either a negative request or imperatives depending on the addressee and situation when you don’t want someone to do a certain thing just as when you make a positive request. Here is the list of negative requests and imperatives.
(For negative requests, refer to Grammar 5 in Lesson 2 of Ch3 for details)

Negative requests and imperatives

Request (favor)

Request 〜ないで(ね/よ)。 飲まないで。

Request (stronger)

〜んといてぇな/や。 飲まんといぇな。
Negative imperatives V(dictionary form) +な 飲むな!

V(Masu stem) + な/ないな(older generation) な!
Negative command (softer)

V(negative stem)んと。 ん と

Let’s examine the formation of negative imperatives more closely.

Negative Imperatives

Kansai (traditional)
V(dictionary form) + な 
  V(Masu-stem) +な
(When ending with る, V(dic.)+んな is used too)   
V(Mau stem) + ないな
()べる 食べるな    な    食べいな
着 ないな
飲むな    な    飲みいな
帰るな    帰 りな    帰 りないな
する するな     
し ないな
くるな    な    きないな

As seen in the chart above, the standard negative imperatives are formed by adding the sentence final particle な to V(dictionary form), whereas the Kansai version requires Masu-form. Also please note that the Kansai negative imperatives are more gentle than the standard versions and are used both by males and females as are the Kansai (affirmative) imperatives.


(ST そこ、ツルツルだから、走るな!)

* ツルツル : slippery, smooth

Even though they have their own style of negative imperatives, Kansai people (especially younger generation) have come to use standard style negative imperatives more commonly nowadays. But, when the verb dictionary form ends with る (whether Ru-verb, U-verb or Irregular), るtends to be changed to ん as follows;

食べな、着んな、帰 んな、すんな、来


(ST 一回落ちたものは拾って食べるなよ!汚い!)

Extra 1: そんなこと、せんとき。

As described in Grammar 5(in Lesson 2 of Ch3), Kansai people use 〜んといて( ST 〜ないでおいて) as a negative request. 〜んとき, the Kansai imperative form of 〜んといて, is frequently used as negative imperatives in Kansai. This expression is more gentle than V(Masu-stem) + な form.

(To a friend) そんな(ちか)くでテレビ()んとき。<見な/見んな

(ST そんなに近くでテレビを見ないで。)

(Mother to her child) 大事(だいじ)なお(きゃく)さんの(まえ)で「行儀ぎょうぎ」(わる)いことせんときや。<しな/すんな

(ST 大事なお客さんの前で行儀の悪いことはしないでね!)

* 行儀(ぎょうぎ)(が)(わる)い: ill mannered

Extra 2: ()いな、買いぃな、買うな、買わな!?

Most of you have already realized that Kansai imperatives and Kansai negative imperatives share the same formation pattern, and the forms look exactly the same when assertive particle な is attached to the affirmative imperatives! But most of them are actually distinguishable if you pay attention to the accentual patterns.

食べ(食べなさいよ)、食ぇな(食べろよ) VS 食な(食べるな negative)

飲み(飲みなさいよ)、飲ぃな(飲めよ)VS 飲な(飲むな negative)

()りな(乗りなさいよ)、乗りぃな(乗れよ)VS 乗りな(乗るな negative)

Also, do you remember another function of な was introduced in the former lesson?  Yes, な can be the abbreviated version of ~ないかん/あかん( ~なければいけない) “You must …” in Kansai-ben  (Refer to Grammar 2 in Lesson 2 of Ch4).

Vなければー>V(negative stem) +な (pronounced with low pitch)
な、 飲な、乗らな、な /な、()

The accentual patterns of "You must.." form and "Don't.." form of RU-verbs and する happen to be identical: if that is the case, you will have to rely on the context.

Let’s see if you can actually distinguish V + な! Can you tell the English equivalent of the following?
休 みな  
休 みぃな 休 み
休 む 休 もな
    • “Unless you rest…” “You must rest!”
    • “Take a rest.”
    • “Take a rest!!”
    • “Don’t rest!”
    • “Don’t rest!” (standard version)
    • “Let’s take a rest!”

Did you get them? Alright,  here is one more set.
食べよ 食べ
    • Eat.
    • Eat!!

    • (1) Don't eat! (2) You must eat! –depending on the context
    • Let’s eat!
    • Don’t eat! (standard-like version)