1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "I do not talk to him."

"I do not talk to him."


June 28, 2017



Why do you use と


I think because the to implies with you whereas if you didn't use to it would mean "he does not talk"


Yes, that's right. And we use とは here instead of a simple, single と particle because the verb is negated.


Oh, I didn't even notice that! I guess I'm lucky it let me get away with just と then!


は is optional, but is added to emphasise that it is him specifically. Just と is also right.


I do not talk to him.. Or another say to think of it.. To include the と is I do not speak with him. Kare = he. to = with/and hanashimasen = to not speak/talk.


I think that "kare to hanashimasen" is "I do not speak with him" while "kare to wa hanashimasen" is "with him, I do not speak", emphasis on kare to, cuz it's the topic...


Isn't the negation already coming from the "shimasen" part?


Yes, but using は puts more emphasis on the thing preceding it, which in Japanese might sound a bit more natural when using negation.


かれ = him

と = to / with

はなし = talk

ません = did not

かれとははなしません = I did not talk to (と) him.


~ません is present/future tense negation. "Do not". "Did not" would be ~ませんでした The particle と means "and", like when you list things.

In general, Japanese omits mentioning the speaker. So literally the sentence says "And he do not talk", but when you add the implied "I" (私と) it becomes "He and I do not talk", which can be interpreted ti mean "I do not talk to him".


More interesting is the dual particle "とは", which I understand is needed because of the negation. Apparently it's optional? Duolingo did not complain when it is omitted.


I'm not a native speaker, but I think it's just that 「…と話しません」(i.e. without the とは) just "sounds a little off".


Can this work without と?


I do not believe so.


Wait a minute... Earlier in this very session, I'm sure it gave us just 「かれとはなせません」 without the は after the と. What's going on?


Good question. As an English speaker, you can think of "composite particles" (as I like to call them) like「とは」and「には」(to name a few) as serving the role of the first symbol (in this case,「と」, "with") while also setting the topic of the sentence to the target of the particle. So in this example, the difference between 「かれとははなしません」(彼とは話しません)and「彼と話しません」is the difference between simply saying "I do not talk with him" and adding the emphasis to "him". So: "I don't talk with him". Does that make sense?


why is it hanaSHImasen.... but when you're talking about yourself you would say hanaSEmasen


はなします and はなせます are different verbs. はなします is the action verb "to speak," while はなせます is "can speak" / the ability to speak.


Not exactly different. The infinitive of 話します is 話す. 話す=To speak, but 話せる=To be able to speak. It's not a different verb, just the potential form of it.


Wait so you can use one particle next to another?


Yes, because "ni" indicates "to", "at", "where" is happening the actions and "ha" indicates what's the "subject" or about what we're talking about. If the subject it's also "to", "at", "where" the action is happening, then they will be used together. "Kanojo ni ha hanashimasen". To her, I do not speak. If it was "Kanojo ha hanashimasen" then I think it would mean "She does not speak".


In this exercise, "kare to wa hanashimasen" is "I do not talk with him", since that's the meaning of "to". If it was "Kare wa hanashimasen" it would be "He doesn't speak"


こんにちは、みんな。 I am a little confused about the kanji 話し. Does 話し with a し mean "to talk", while 話 alone means "conversation", "story"...etc...? ありがとう


Yes. The kanji 話 (はなし) alone means a conversation, story, etc., but it can also be used as a verb stem for 話す (はなす) - to speak (う verb). You should also take a look at this Wikipedia article for more info on Japanese verb conjugation in case you're interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_verb_conjugation/


Ohh! ありがとう. Thanks very much. That is clarifying. I gave a look at some verb conjugations before, but was still confused about that one. The link didn't work though. :( I just started focusing on Kanji now that my duo's course is finished, hope I can find some way to continue learning. Duo should give us more units :) Thanks again Mrr.


Sorry, the link wasn't working because I added an extra / character. This is the correct link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_verb_conjugation You could also try this app if you want to learn some more, but it teaches you words from random JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) levels, not ordered from the easiest to the hardest, it also teaches sentence structures, verb conjugations, etc.: https://www.lingodeer.com/ And you should also take a look at the N5 (easiest) vocab list: http://www.tanos.co.uk/jlpt/jlpt5/vocab/VocabList.N5.doc to see how many words you already know. (Note: Some words should be written using kanji, but aren't in the vocab list) If you're unsure about how a kanji is written (stroke order), how it's read, or its meanings, or just need a Japanese dictionary, try this website: https://jisho.org/ I think that's about everything :P


Thanks again! I used lingodeer and jisho before, maybe I'll give another try. :)




The と particle here expresses mutuality, it can also be translated as "with".

the は is used to stress the negative in the sentence, you are marking 彼とは "as for with her" 話しません "I do not speak".


Could you not use ni and would it not be more accurate, or did my memory get confused?


which one is more natural: 彼と話しません or 彼とは話しません


So is this sentence going to change to "仕掛けません" like "I do not talk to her" has previously in this lesson?


Is there a difference between the way you address this between him and her? On the "her" lesson this is wrong and it's 話し掛け but on here that counts as wrong.


Yeah I was wondering the same thing. The し掛けますん only appeared on the skill today for me (level 3/5) out of nowhere :/ I've submitted a query about this on both sentences.

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.