The noun なし (
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: 問題なし, 異常なし, 文句無し.
It is therefore sufficient to follow a noun with なし:
Working without holidays.
なし can also be found in its kanji form 無し, 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
missing. We can see an example where the meaning of ない and なし is the same:
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 (問題がない)
- 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
withoutdepending 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:
I can't live without you.
In this sentence, the particle で indicates that without (なし) you (あなた) I cannot live (生きていけない).
We can also find the particle に instead of で. なしに (
nashi ni) takes on the same meaning as なしで:
I decided to go without lunch today.
なし、なしに and なしで on the Internet
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Examples of なし
In this moment there is nothing that surpasses the joy of this instant!
A fast promotion is certain.
Let's not have secrets between each other.
No need to be so formal.