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  5. "I do not have a boyfriend."

"I do not have a boyfriend."


July 13, 2017



I'm sure all the single guys on here can help you out.



is my sentence correct?


Is correct. Homophobic, but correct.


So why is the particle here は? In uni I was taught that います is ALWAYS preceded by が.


I think because in the negative, imasu and arimasu take wa.


I'm not 100% comfortable with this explanation. Do you have any external sources? This "use は with negatives" thing seems to be thrown around a lot as a "rule of thumb" that I doubt actually reflects how は and が are practically used. (Thanks, of course, for attempting to explain; I'm just wondering if you have any other sources that might go into more depth.)


Learn Japanese Adventure talks about changing the particle to は in negative sentences in detail.

Let's see how to answer this Yes/No question as follow...

Rule 1: None/を/が/も → は

Meaning: When there is no particle or the particle is either を, が or も, change it to は.

Rule 2: Other Particles → Particle + は

Meaning: If the particle is neither を, が nor も, add は to the particle. (に → には, と → とは, で → では, へ → へは, etc)

Please take note that the above rules apply only if you are answering a Yes/No question in negative ways. Normal negative sentence would not need to change particle or add は (wa) to other Japanese particles.

However, sometimes even for normal negative sentence, people change the Japanese particle in order to emphasize something.

One of the native Japanese speakers on the forums posted this interesting Japanese article from NHK where a survey found that 84% of the participants expected the negative form of the verb to follow after the phrase きょうは、天気は, and 56% expected the positive form of the verb to follow after the phrase きょうは、天気が.

[Edit to add a HiNative source:




This native speaker says が adds emphasis, and looking at the examples given, it seems like は is a more neutral "I don't have a girlfriend", versus が which says "I don't have a girlfriend, but I have other things".

If anyone has more examples from native speakers, I would be interested in comparing them.]


You were faster! :P


I have heard it said like this: かれしいない what would the difference be?


It's correct but informal. いません is the formal version.


I learned from memrise that you can say 彼氏が持っていません. Is it incorrect? Does the verb 持つ meaning to posses/to have only apply to objects?


Yes, you don't use ~を持っています with people, only objects.

[Advanced Topic: Sometimes you can use 持つ with people, such as the noun 彼氏持ち (kareshi mochi), person with a boyfriend, but to say "I have a boyfriend", you should say 彼氏がいます. See HiNative: https://hinative.com/en-US/questions/16793913]


Im a little unsure on this one and the last one. Isnt the first word 'he'?


かれ would be he, かれし means boyfriend


Just to add to that, かれ can still mean boyfriend, but かれし is exclusively boyfriend.


Ahh, gotcha, thanks


It is similar to 彼女, which can mean "she" or "girlfriend."


Im confused, this phrase can also mean my boyfriend is not here right?


For what I've seen in this course, when you negate it (いません), は is usually used


Could you specify where you would expect to see で in this sentence?


can we use 「持っていません」here? or i don't know 「持って」 is just for abject or something?

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