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"This skirt is not new."


June 19, 2017





What does 「く」do after an adjective?


It is actually part of the adjective. Simply put, for い-adjectives, く forms the base for negative conjugations. E.g. あたらしい (新しい) "it's new" -> 新しくない "it isn't new".

Notice how the negative form itself becomes a new い-adjective, which in turn can be conjugated for past tense: 新しくなかった ("it wasn't new")


It turns the adjective into an adverb (like ~"ly" does in English), so it's technically 新しい as an adjective modifying the verb ない. If you translated 新しくない literally, it would be something along the lines of "it new(ly) isn't" or something like that (Though that's obviously grammaticaly incorrect in English, lol)... It's easier to think of "新しくない" as the negative form of 新しい and nothing else, of course, but this is how it actually works.


Adjectives conjugate so to make a ln adjective negative drop the "i" at the end and make it a "kunai" these only works with a certain class of adjectives that end in い words like orenjiiru follow a different set of rules.


Some adjectives that end in i are na adjectives - like Kiri (pretty), and ooki (big) - to measure things even more confusing there is also ookii (also meaning big), which is an i adjective.


In addition to the below explanation, i adjectives become adverbs by changing i to ku.


Which is more polite, 新しくないです or 新しくありません?


They're both polite; the latter is somewhat more formal.



この this スカート skirt は (topic) 新しくない not new です is/am/are

This skirt is not new.


Is the fact that it is an い adjective the reason ではありません is incorrect here? I thought that was always okay to use for negatives.


Yes, い-adjectives function like verbs in that they can conjugate and end a sentence on their own. The addition of です at the end is only to make the sentence more polite and doesn't serve a grammatical function.
新しい - new
新しくない - not new
The ない here is actually a casual form of ありません so you could also correctly say 新しくありません though that sounds a bit literary and too formal for most conversation.


Why can't we use これ for this skirt here? As これ is used for materialistic things and この for living things?


これ is a pronoun "this one" which stands in for other nouns
これは黒いスカートです "This (one) is a black skirt"

この is a pre-noun adjective and must be paired with a noun. More literally it comes from a contraction of the pronoun これ and the genitive particle の
このスカートは黒いです "This skirt is black"

これは "this one is"
このスカートは "this skirt is"
これスカートは is ungrammatical, like saying "this one the skirt is"

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