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  5. "みじかくないですか?"


Translation:Isn't it short?

June 25, 2017



Now I know how foreigners feel when we use these types of negatives in a sentence. I'm frustrated.


That's what she said


Haha, I was looking for this comment!




The answer was "Isn't it short?" is "It's not short, is it?" really incorrect?


I have this same question. In English "Isn't it short?" feels more like a statement of one's own opinion and asking for confirmation; it could even be very judgemental depending on the context. "It's not short, is it?" feels much more concerned/more iterested in the other person's opinion. Which would be the more accurate sentiment in Japanese?


I'd say for this sentence it's the first one. And I think you got the nuances of the different sentences right


"Isn't it short?" means that you think that it's short and you're asking if you are wrong

"It's not short, is it?" means that you think that it's not short and you are asking if you are wrong

So in both sentences you are asking for confirmation of what you think, but they express opposite opinions. If it doesn't feel too clear for you, just look at the questions: the first one is asking "isn't it short?" and the second one is asking "is it short?", so they are asking the opposite thing


I want to say that "it's short, isn't it?" would read more like, みじかくないですか? That way there's the statement of non-shortness, and also ですか, meaning "is it?" Other people, what say you? Yea or nay?


Well; if you take "it's short, isn't it?" to have the same meaning that "isn't it short?", then yea. Although "it's short, isn't it?" seems to indicate a stronger opinion on the speaker, which I guess would correspond better to the sentence 「みじかいですね(?)」, where the ね would stand for "isn't it?" (="right?", which is the function that ね usually does)


It might be helpful to remember that the positive answer to the question is, "Hai, mijikaku nai desu" (Yes, it is not short) and the negative answer is, "Iie, mijikai desu" (No, it is short). Japanese is different from English.


"Isn't it short" and "it is not short" do not mean the same thing in english. Isn't it short would be "Mijikai desu ne?"


No, "mijikai desu ne" is "it is short, isn't it". There is a difference, in that the speaker has a stronger opinion in case of the latter.


"Isn't it" is the contraction of "is it not".

Isn't it short = Is it not short

Isn't it short =/= It is not short


so is this a rhetoric question?


Rhetoric questions use ね intead of か in the most of times.


So this being the case for this sentence, would we say "Watashi ha mijikakunai desu ka" if we were to speak about ourselves?


Please read Alcedo-Atthis' response to a similar question directly below.


This makes no sense to me.

みじかくない means "not short", right? So why isn't it "Is it not short?" (Asking is something isn't short, for example, asking if it's long)


The speaker is saying - isn't it short?!!!?

Meaning - wow, that's really really short!!! Don't you agree that it's really really short?

Also, the speaker is expecting the answer to their question to be positive ie. They are expecting the listener/s to respond something like - wow, you're right! That IS really really short!


oh! so is that the only meaning possible in japanese? :o


Yes. Also English does this too.


exactly! I thought the same, but you're the only one who's asking that question, and no one seems to give a single answer to that :(


"Aren't you short?" was not accepted. Why not?


みじかい isn't used for people, only things. So if you'd say this to a person, you're basically calling them an inanimate object. "Aren't you short?" would be 背(せ)が低(ひく)くないですか (literally: isn't your back low").




...and I realized the errors of my ways on mobile without edits. Well, flip. Let the inevitable downvotes come as they may...


I am really having a problem with these double negatives

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