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  5. "やすくないですか?"


Translation:Isn't it cheap?

May 28, 2017





Thought this was "It's not cheap?". Isn't this "やすくないですね?", so how do I say "It's not cheap" in Japanese? Can anyone explain the difference?


(それは)やすい。   (It) is cheap. | (It)'s cheap.
(それは)やすいです。 (It) is cheap. | (It)'s cheap.
(それは)やすいですか? Is (it) cheap? | == "(It)'s cheap?"
(それは)やすいですね。 (It) is cheap, isn't it? | (It)'s cheap, isn't it?

(それは)やすくない。   (It) isn't cheap. | (It)'s not cheap. | (It) is not cheap.
(それは)やすくないです。 (It) isn't cheap. | (It)'s not cheap. | (It) is not cheap.
(それは)やすくないですか? Isn't (it) cheap? | Is (it) not cheap? | == "(It)'s not cheap?"
(それは)やすくないですね。 (It) isn't cheap, is it? | (It)'s not cheap, is it? | (It) is not cheap, is it?

(それは)やすくあります。 (It) is cheap. | (It)'s cheap.
(それは)やすくありません。 (It) isn't cheap. | (It)'s not cheap. | (It) is not cheap.
(それは)やすくありませんか? Isn't (it) cheap? | Is (it) not cheap? | == "(It)'s not cheap?"
(それは)やすくありませんね。 (It) isn't cheap, is it? | (It)'s not cheap, is it? | (It) is not cheap, is it?

Literally, it's something like:

それは(Subject "it") やすく(Adv. "cheap") あります(V. "is")
[ It ] [cheap ] [ is . ]
→ It is cheap. (statement)

それは(Subject "it") やすく(Adv. "cheap") ありませ(V "is") ん(Aux. "not")
[ It ] [cheap ] [ isn't . ]
→ It isn't cheap. (negative statement)

それは(Subject "it") やすく(Adv. "cheap") あります(V "is") か(Prt. "?")
[ It ] [cheap ] [ is ? ]
→ Is it cheap? (question) == It is cheap ? / It's cheap?

それは(Subject "it") やすく(Adv. "cheap") ありませ(V "is") ん(Aux. "not") か(Prt. "?")
[ It ] [cheap ] [ isn't ? ]
→ Isn't it cheap? (negative question) == It isn't cheap? / It's not cheap?

それは(Subject "it") やすく(Adv. "cheap") あります(V "is") ね(Prt. "ね?")
[ It ] [cheap ] [ is ] , ね?
→ It is cheap, ね? (ね? = seeking agreement "isn't it?")

それは(Subject "it") やすく(Adv. "cheap") ありませ(V "is") ん(Aux. "not") ね(Prt. "ね?")
[ It ] [cheap ] [ isn't ] , ね?
→ It isn't cheap, ね? (ね? = seeking agreement "is it?")

It's something like that anyway. I'm just a learner of Japanese too, so might be wrong. And I probably shouldn't label that やすく "adverb" and あります "verb", but hopefully you get the picture anyway. The negative question is asking something that can be translated "Isn't it cheap?", "Is it not cheap?", or "It's not cheap?" all having the same meaning. ...I think. ^^


Thanks for the comprehensive reference material. I think I still need to practice this to fully understand how "ですね?" is used. My understanding is that ですね is fairly informal and it's better to err on the polite side with Japanese people you aren't close with so this isn't a pressing issue but rather a curiosity.

However, going by your list I think we agree that "It's not cheap?" is synonymous with the answer so maybe I should've hit report on "This answer should have been accepted".


Well, in English we change the order of the words when converting a sentence to a question:

It is cheap. (Subject Verb Object)
Is it cheap? (VSO)
It's cheap? (SVO) == "It is cheap?"

It isn't cheap. (SVO)
Isn't it cheap? (VSO)
It's not cheap? (SVO) == "It is not cheap?"

If you don't change the order of the sentence but simply tack a question mark (intonation) on to the end of the sentence, then it is more like you are saying "What?! It's not cheap?" (where you expected it to be cheap) rather than asking a neutral question "Isn't it cheap?" (where you don't really have any idea whether it's actually cheap or not).

Again, I'm just a learner, have never taken any Japanese classes, and I'm certainly not a qualified teacher of anything... But, here's how I view か and ね...

か shows doubt and uncertainty. The specifics of what it attaches to aren't known and often want to be known.

だれ "who" → だれ "someone"
なに "what" → なに "something"
いつ "when" → いつ "somewhen"
どこ "where" → どこ "somethere"

Same with how か is used to mean "or", where the person asking doesn't know which of the possibilities will be the actual one.

"Do you have a pen or a pencil?"

It's the same uncertainty at the end of sentences for questions. The asker doesn't have certainty of what the answer will be and doesn't know which direction the answer might go.

ね expresses agreement or seeks confirmation. It's not really so much a question at all. The same as the English "It's cheap, isn't it?" is barely asking a question, that you can often forget whether it needs a question mark after it. It's just expecting the listener to nod in agreement kind of thing.

With ね you are almost certain you are correct in your statement—you think it will match what the other person thinks. Often ね is just showing empathy with the other person's feelings about something.

やすくないですか。"Isn't it cheap?" (neutral question)
やすくないですね。"It's not cheap" (statement, but with ", is it?" tagged onto the end.)


Thanks that does clear up a few things, so far I've only really approached it for ですか? (is it?) and ですね? (isn't it?) rather than か and ね. I think what you say is consistent with やすくないですか? being "Isn't it cheap?" or "Is it not cheap?" although the negative is a bit confusing and I'd probably use たかいですか? "Is it expensive?" instead.

Your take on ね seems to consistent with how i see it used. やすいですね? being "It's cheap, isn't it?". Again the negative やすくないですね? "it isn't cheap, isn't it?" is clearly confusing, I think it's probably the English words that are ambiguous here so again I'd more likely use たかいですね? "It's expensive, isn't it?" in everyday speech.

I think your interpretation of ね as a rhetorical device or affirmation sounds about right. In which case, I'd more accurately translate やすくないですね? as "it isn't cheap, right?" or "it isn't cheap, eh?" which goes with my impression of it being more casual and I think it clears up the confusion with やすくないですか?



I actually wanted to translate ね as "eh?" but I thought I'd get some angry frowns, lol. If you can think of it as "eh?" that should work well. "Right?" is fine too, but seems slightly more demanding of getting a response.

And I had to fix a few typos just before you posted this. Maybe the negative sentence + ね makes more sense now that I've changed it to ", is it?".


This basic page teaching English language helps clear up how ね translates on negative sentences, to make it not seem weird.

(But there's no confusion if we're going to use "eh?" now anyway.) ^^


From what I've read, よ adds emphasis to what you're saying. But I don't think there's an English equivilant.

So for example a sentence meaning "don't do that" becomes something like "don't do that, ok?". It's not actually asking a question, it's just adding emphasis.

Also, it apparently can be combined with ね but I can't imagine how that works.

On top of all that, it can sound quite feminine if used after certain words, in which case (unless you're ok with that) you need to add だ first, which makes a sentence more masculine and/or authoritative.

So in theory all 3, だよね, can be combined at the end of a sentence to emphasis what you're saying, seek confirmation and sound masculine and/or authoritative all at the same time.

But you mustn't use だ after i-adjectives for some reason.

Japanese is confusing.


Sure, what could go wrong, aye? I'm Kiwi so we don't really worry about being too casual here, although I realise that's not the case in Japan. I think "eh?" works for me rather than getting into double negatives. Just realised that doesn't cover ですよ but I haven't encountered that in the lessons yet so I'm not sure it's relevant to Doulingo.


Also, I do understand the way I've used "subject" "object" and "verb" in describing the word order of those sentences is very likely to be seen as nonsense. I know there are better grammatical terms, (but I think it still makes sense anyway...) :P


"Isn't it blank" and "it is not blank" do not mean the same thing in english. Isn't it blank suggests you know it is blank and you want the listener to agree that it is blank as well. Isn't it blank would be "Blank desu ne?"

[deactivated user]

    I wrote 'isnt it easy' but it says wrong, yasui without characters to indicate it can mean something else.


    like はやく, fast and early in the previous lesson.


    I remember やすい by the mnemonic "Ya/yes! Sweet! This one is so cheap!" And imagining I'm at the store.


    Another thing to keep in mind is that Japanese makes use of particles that mark the subject and object and so on after the nouns and the verb comes at the end of a clause with its ending altered to suit tense, among a bunch of other functions. it's a highly modular language

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