Translation:It is not good.
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This is a rare example of an irregular conjugation, where いい and よくない have no visible similarity, they just have to be memorized.
The outdated way of reading 良い is えい. Also bear in mind that most (if not all) common Japanese words are usually written in Hiragana only. Here is certainly the case.
I don't know why it became いい from えい, but my guess is for the sake of ease of speaking. It already happens as a syntactic rule when か turns into が, た into だ, etc.
For instance 時時 or also written as 時々 spells ときどき or 神奈川 prefecture spells かながわ where 川 is changed from かわ to がわ.
Or as common pronunciation when for example you drop the 'u' sound in conversation when using です or ます and say 'des', 'mas'.
English speakers learning new languages often scoff at inconsistencies in the language, when it reality English is RIDDLED with phonetic mishap. Ironic, huh?
Eh, not everyone all the time, but it's also only natural to note these things when you're trying to understand it. I remember bits of when I was a kid trying to learn English and I'd point out inconsistencies there, too. XD (Especially in spelling.)
Having trouble teaching English especially with phonetics. The sound pattern does not apply to all and the students just wonder what made the word different and wrong despite following the right sounding pattern for the letters.
Consider little etymology lessons sprinkled into your vocab lists. English is an amalgam of Greek, Romantic, Gallic, and Germanic roots.
Historical events like the Crusades and the Jewish Diaspora injected new words with English spellings that tried to approximate Arabic, Slavic, and Hebrew sounds.
Knowing the origin of the word helps us identify the spelling convention. Being able to 'place' a word in time and space gives it context and purpose. It's like filling out the mp3 ID tags in your music folder (does anybody else still do that?) Just taking the time to do it encourages the brain to look for and assign relationships within a seemingly random list.
Actually, it's regular. The word is 良い（よい） but the more common way to pronounce it is いい
よくないです means "It is not good." Adding は to get よくはないです means "It is not necessarily good."
I mean, I getya, but how are we supposed to tell the difference? How do I know this doesn't mean 'Not often' ?
I think good is "yoi" and to make it negative you have to take off the 'I' and replace it with 'kunai'. We know it does not mean 'often' because there is a 'nai' after.
Furthermore "often" is not an adjective so you wouldn't use "kunai" after it- plus that would make it "yokukunai".
That's almost right. "Kunai" is only for i-adjectives. It's "janai" in all other cases (that I can think of). So I reckon it would be "yokujanai" if it was anything.
if you replace the い with く but without the ない, it becomes an adverb. よく is an adverb.
Spelling (written form) and context (spoken + written form.) But since Japanese commonspeech tends to omit a lot of stuff, I can see where confusion would come into play here, especially since "good" and "often" both describe things.
Does anyone know if the kanji for "often" yoku is different from the kanji for "not good" yoku?
it's the same word for both, 良く is more about frequency, the how often does something happens indicates your ability on that stuff, so for example if you say「よく料理する」you are saying that you cook so often that you are already good at it, this is less pretentious than using 上手 in Japanese culture.
So the meaning of よくない "not good" comes from that inference, even to describe things that are not good, if you describe food as よくない is more like saying that is not skillfully done than directly bad.
Thank you for the response! Your explanation really helped me understand the connection between the yoku meanings. :)
Bonus: Had to look up jouzu since I didn't recognize it in kanji form. I kept spelling it "uete." XD Interesting how it means "up hand." Like a high-five!
よく = Good / Fine (i-adjective, connective form)
ない = Not (i-adjective)
です = To be / Is
Already only in Hiragana
In this situation, we have to convert the i-adjective, いい, into connective form (ku-form) so we can add on ない and make it negative.
いい is a weird adjective because before making it into ku-form we have to turn it back into its base/true form, which is よい (yoi). From there, we change the い into く, resulting in よく.
Here you could also add a は (topic particle) after よく which would make it:
This sentence could literally be translated to:
As for (being) good, it is not
However, the は particle also adds contrast to your statement and emphasises the fact that it is not bad. So a rough translation would be:
It isn't bad... (but...)
And then the "(it isn't really good either...)" is sort of implied without actually being said.
The way Duolingo simply translated it was (and I believe makes sense):
It is not necessarily good
Not really. よく means often you can't conjugate it (in this case with ない). Also to say something doesn't happen very often it's better to use あまり :) e.g. あまり行きません I don't go very often
"not good" isn't a real English sentence, and since this course is for English speakers, accepting slang isn't helpful
I got wrong for 良くないです but it's not possible to report it. There is no option for that.
Can this not also mean "I am not well"? Is there any reason why that doesn't work?
That would be 元気(げんき)じゃない。The well/often that is よく (not quite the same as よくない, which is just the negative form of いい) does not mean well in the sense of one's health, to my knowledge. よくない just means "not good", without having anything to do with wellness, far as I know.
Report it. If "can I get..." is an acceptable translation of をください, then "ain't" should be a valid translation of ない/ません.
In this case, because of the lack of context, there is no should be no distinction between "It is not good" and "This is not good" -- both are acceptable translations for this sentence.
A way to remember this is the english saying "too much of a good thing can be bad" and sibce yoku means "frequently" it kind of fits will yokunai being bad.
What is the difference between いい and よく when used to mean "good"? When I used よく instead of いい in another sentence duo would not accept it. Is よく the negative form? Thanks!
いい is the positive i-adjective "good, fine, excellent, sufficient' to describe a noun (can also be written 良い・よい but this is uncommon)
よく is the adverb form to describe a verb "finely, excellently, sufficiently", also used in the conjugation for the negative form よくない "not good, not sufficient, etc."
Honestly, I think 'Not good' should get a pass...
Or is that too casual?
いいです it's fine よくないです it's not fine
Why is this wrong? It's not usually used, but if it's a reply like: "hey, it's fine!" "It's not fine!" it should be correct. Or maybe it would be よくはないです！