naide (ないで) | Meaning and Examples [JLPT N4]

naide (ないで) | Meaning and Examples [JLPT N4]

ないで (naide) is an expression that is used to indicate an action done without another, or a request not to perform a certain action.

More specifically, ないで is used in the following two situations:

  • Express the meaning of without doing (A), (B)
  • Make a request to someone not to do (A)

In this post we go to see how the expression ないで is formed, where it comes from, and how to use it in different contexts.

Where does ないで come from

ないで is a combination of the auxiliary verb ない (not to exist) and of the particle で.

In this expression, the conjugated verb in the negative form ない expresses not to do, while で means with; together the literal meaning becomes with without doing ....

ないで is also one of two possible negative conjugations of the te form (て), along with なくて.

While ないで means "without doing", なくて is used instead to connect two sentences: "I didn't do (A), and (B)"

More specifically, なくて is used to say I didn't do (A) and (B). However, this expression is different from saying I did (A) without doing (B), which is instead expressed with ないで.

ないで to say "without doing"

As mentioned, the main meaning of ないで is to do (A) without doing (B). To form this expression it is sufficient to conjugate the preceding verb in the negative form ない and add the particle で.


Are you going to sleep without brushing your teeth?

In this example the verb (みが)く (brush) is conjugated in its negative form in ない and linked to the particle で. The meaning therefore becomes without washing (brushing) ....

ないで can only be used with verbs

The use of ないで expresses the idea that (A) has never been done before without (B), which indicates something that is contrary to what we expect. For this reason, ないで is used to express something unexpected or surprising.

ないで for "don't do" requests

The second use of ないで is to ask someone not to do a certain action. This expression is formed in the same way as the previous one. It will therefore be necessary to know the context to understand which of the two meanings is expressed.


Don't eat that.

This expression is often followed by ください (kudasai), which means "please"


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