The structure ようとしない (
you to shinai) means
not willing to,
not attempt to,
not make effort to or
not intend to.
It is a useful expression in combination with the Volitional form we review in this post.
The relatd structure is ようとする which is the affirmative form.
How ようとしない is formed
We use the Volitional form of the verb ending in う／よう + としない.
In the case of Verbs Ichidan:
Unwilling to decide or Refusing to decide, don't / doesn't want to decide
With the Verbs Godan:
don't / doesn't want to write, refusing to write
- する becomes しようとしない
- 来る ⇨ 来ようとしない
How and when ようとしない is used
Let's explain 2 characteristics of the structure through 2 japanese sentences:
It means not having desire to do that at all.
I don't use it for myself.
jibun is a widely used noun and means oneself, myself
This structure is used with a Volitional verb to say that there is neither will nor efforts to do the action.
As expressed in the Japanese sentence, this form is used for other people's things and situations, not in the first person.
She is angry and doesn't want to listen to anyone.
The following sentence contains the same structure using the verb 思う
think, in the negative form 思わない I don't think I will...
I don't want to change my personality.
My child does not want to study, no matter how many times I tell him.
We can use another sentence to explain this situation using the adverb まったく + negative that means at all.
He doesn't seem to study at all.
「まったく〜する様子がない」is a similar expression that can be used instead of ようとする
Sentences from an article about Hikikomori
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Examples of ようとしない
Did you explain it to her properly?
Of course, but she doesn't want to listen to me.
Even if we greet our neighbour, he does not return our greetings.
The arrested criminal doesn't want to answer, no matter what questions you ask him.
I give advice, but nobody wants to listen to my advice and put it into practice.