787 - な《禁止》

[NDL #787] - JLPT N4: な《禁止》

If you don't already know, the word 禁止 (きんし) means something like "prohibited," "not allowed," etc.

It shows up in quite a few of our lessons. For example, we saw it in the following sentence from this lesson: [NDL #679] - JLPT N4: ~てもいい (permission).

すみません が、 しゃしんさつえい は きんし に なっています。
I’m sorry, but photography is not permitted.
Literally: “I’m sorry + が (=but), + photography / taking photographs + は + prohibition + に + is becoming.”

We're not actually using the word 禁止 in this lesson, though.

Rather, we are exploring a grammar point that is used when some type of activity is 禁止, is forbidden or not allowed: .

Specifically, the pattern we'll see is:

V る
don't VERB


Vるis a fairly strong way of telling something not to do something.

Since it has a rough sound to it, you will hear it used more often by male speakers. This isn't to say that women can't use it, though. I've heard women use it on a number of occasions.

You'll also hear kids using it:

ぼく の こと、 マリオ って よぶな!
Don’t call me Mario!
Literally: “I + の + こと, + Mario + って + don’t call (=[command])!”


Or perhaps you'll see it posted on a sign somewhere:

さわるな。 きけん。
Danger. Do not touch.
Literally: “don’t touch (=[command]). + dangerous / danger.”


Here's an example of a father saying it to his son:

なくな。 もう しょうがくせい だろう。
Don’t cry. You’re in elementary school now, aren’t you?
Literally: “don’t cry (=[command]). + already + elementary school student + だろう.”
Note: The nuance is, "You're old enough to not be crying about something like this, aren't you?"


Vるな can be softened a bit by putting after it.

This makes it sound less like a command that must be followed. There is a slight nuance of pleading:

ごめん ごめん。 そんなに おこるな よ。
Sorry, sorry. Don’t get so mad.
Literally: “sorry + sorry. + that much + don’t get mad (=[command]) + よ.”

↑ Remember this sentence for when you want to make your girlfriend even angrier than she already is.


Vる doesn't have a rough-sounding nuance to it when it is embedded in a sentence (e.g. when you're quoting someone).

As such, it is not particularly "masculine" when used this way:

おかあさん に、 しゅくだい が おわる まで あそび に いくな と いわれた。
My mom said I can’t go out to play until I finish my homework.
Literally: “mother + に, + homework + が + be finished + until + playing + に + don’t go (=[command]) + と + was said.”


Fairly simple grammar point, yeah?

You'll come across this one quite a bit, so be sure to read through the examples a few times.

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