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な (Masculine Negative Imperative)

な (Masculine Negative Imperative)

な (Masculine Negative Imperative) Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Particle

Essential Meaning: Don’t do X (strong negative imperative)


  • Verb informal non-past + な
    • E.g. はなすな [Don’t speak]
    • E.g. べるな [Don’t eat]


  • な is a very strong, masculine, and informal negative imperative marker. When appended to the end of an informal non-past sentence, な means “Don’t do X!“. For example, the famous Bruce Lee quote “Don’t Think. Feel” is translated as: かんがえるな。かんじろ。」
  • Females tend to use ないで (i.e. negative て-Form) to convey informal imperatives.
    • E.g. べないで![Don’t eat!]

Example Sentences:

タバコをうな![Don’t smoke tobacco!]

さけをあまりむな![Don’t drink too much!]

そんなところにもうくな![Don’t go to that sort of place any more!]

あんなおとことは結婚けっこんするな![Don’t marry that kind of guy!]

もうかえってくるな![Don’t come home any more!]

WILD Examples:

Listen to this line at 0:23: かんじるかんがえろ [Don’t feel, Think!] This is an inversion of the Bruce Lee quote mentioned above.
Listen to this line at 2:23: 男共おとこどもあま [Don’t take the men lightly]

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