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  5. "Today, you cannot put on tha…

"Today, you cannot put on that red tie."


October 6, 2017



Can someone explain the construct「ネクタイをしめては」?

My guess is that putting 締める(しめる) in て-form allows you to treat it more or less as a noun. Then, the rest of the sentence builds on previous lessons.


The construction at play here is ~てはいけません (-te wa ikemasen), which means "you're not allowed to ~" or "you can't ~". To tell someone they are not allowed to do something, the thing that you are not allowed to do is put in the -te form (in this case ネクタイを締めて nekutai o shimete), then add はいけません (wa ikemasen).


Nekutai o shimete wa ikemasen.

You can't wear a tie.

I can't explain the grammatical reasons for why it's the -te form, and you might be onto something, but I think for most people it's clearest and simplest to just remember:

~てはいけません = not allowed to ~


I suppose you could say that. With the ~はいけない construction it kind of makes the verb gerund-y. (E.g. くつを脱いで、アパートに入った。→ Taking off my shoes, I entered the apartment.) Cool insight.


But here, the verb in the て-form is the topic. Why is that?


Can someone please explain the second half of this sentence? Including why the term previously used to signify closing something,しめて, now apparently means wearing a tie?


I can explain the selection of the verb, at least. Wearing/putting on different things uses different verbs in Japanese. 締める (しめる), which means "to fasten/tighten" is used to talk about wearing/putting on belts and neckties, since these things are fastened around one's body. 閉める (しめる) means "to close/shut" and is a homophone and likely a polyseme of 締める (しめる).

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This is the first time I encounter double particle は, both here and in the wild. I do understand that the second particle acts as an nominalizer and perhaps can be replaced with some other combinations of particles, like we can see in another exercises. Is it OK to use multiple topic marking particles in one sentence without being frowned upon?


I didn't put in that last は and was marked wrong as a result. Wasnit a mistake or was that second は necessary?


The second は is not a topic marker but part of a grammatical structure てはいけません / てはいけない which is how you indicate a not allowed to do sentance.


If you want to give permission you say てもいい(you can/you may) if you want to ask for permission you say てもいいですか(can i do...). To say you are not allowed you say てはいけません. Remember the te at the beginning is the te form of a verb.


Roxannnnneee. You cannot put on that red tie

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