なし (nashi) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N3]

Author GokuGoku for article 'なし (nashi) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N3]'

GokuGoku

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Updated on 6 November 2022

なし (nashi) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N3]

The noun なし (nashi) means without.

The meaning and use of なし is similar to the verb ない, although not exactly the same. なし originates as an adjective, but over time its use made it more similar to a noun.

In this post we learn more about the meaning of なし, how it is formed, and when なし is used through real example sentences.


How なし is formed

なし is often found as a suffix, and is mostly used in some common expressions such as: (もん)(だい)なし, ()(じょう)なし, (もん)()()し.

It is therefore sufficient to follow a noun with なし:

Noun+なし
(きゅう)(じつ)なしで(はたら)く。

Working without holidays.

なし can also be found in its kanji form ()し, which uses the same kanji as ない.

How and when to use なし

なし is the same word as ない, but in modern Japanese these two terms are distinct as their usage is different.

Like ない, なし means not exist, not present, without, missing. We can see an example where the meaning of ない and なし is the same:

(もん)(だい)ない。

No problem.

(もん)(だい)なし。

No problem.

Although なし is an adjective, it is considered a noun, and used as such.

We can characterize the use of なし according to the following guidelines:

  • なし is commonly linked to other nouns without using any particle, while it is more common to use a particle with ない ((もん)(だい)がない)
  • Since なし is considered a noun, it can be followed by the copula だ, by the particle の, and by に to become adverb. In this sense, なし has the same meaning and usage as ないこと
  • なし can be translated as not or without depending on the case

なしで - Without

One of the most common uses of なし is when it is followed by the particle で. なしで (nashi de) means without something, where the particle で indicates the missing medium or thing:

あなたなしで()きていけない。

I can't live without you.

In this sentence, the particle で indicates that without (なし) you (あなた) I cannot live (()きていけない).

なしに

We can also find the particle に instead of で. なしに (nashi ni) takes on the same meaning as なしで: without.

今日(きょう)(ひる)(めし)なしにする。

I decided to go without lunch today.


Examples of なし

(いま)この(せち)()()(えつ)()るものなし!

In this moment there is nothing that surpasses the joy of this instant!

スピード(しょう)(かく)()(ちが)いなしだ。

A fast promotion is certain.

(たが)(かく)(ごと)はなしにしましょう。

Let's not have secrets between each other.

(かた)(くる)しいことはなしだ。

No need to be so formal.

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