なし (nashi) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Without

Author GokuGoku for article 'なし (nashi) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Without'


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なし (nashi) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Without

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:



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:


No problem.


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:


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).


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.


I decided to go without lunch today.

なし、なしに and なしで on the Internet

車なし生活, life without a car


Living without a car while raising children


It introduces also some opinions from mothers who have been raising children without a car for 5 years.




Hey, hey, hey, hey! You can't enter without permission!




I can't talk about the damage to crops caused by the typhoon without crying.

テレビなし生活, a life without TV


6 video websites that can replace TV in a life without TV - Ten years' experience

ドコモショップで, at the Docomo shop


Can I go into a Docomo Shop on the same day without an appointment? Can I pop in for a model change, a contract cancellation or for servicing?

  • なしでも nashi demo even without
  • ()(やく)なしでも even without an appointment

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.