Teach Yourself Japanese
Subject: Re: Hope I'm not beating a dead horse, but...
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 10:47:47 GMT
References: 1, 2, 3
> Kazuo: Futtobôru ga suki ja nai no ka.
> (Do you not like American football?)
> Jirô: Suki ja aru. Basukettobôru ga suki de nai.
> (I do like American football. It's basketball that I don't like.)
Alright, I have been told that "ja aru" is incorrect. However, I still have problems seeing why that is; here is why:
"wa - a particle which emphatically affirms or negates the proposition represented by the proceeding verbal and other related elements."
"Ano otoko wa yûshû de wa atta ga, fusei na koto o shita no de kubi ni natta.
(He was smart but he got fired because he did something illegal.) - Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar
This use of "wa" is as a contrastive marker. So it seems to follow that since in my dialogue Jirô is contrasting "ja nai" using "ja (de wa) aru" is no problem. Granted, it does not follow the "is, but" pattern, but since it is contrasting with something that was already mentioned, I just do not see any problem with it.
Next comes the question of the validity of the second sentence. After I posted this, I realized that "basukettobôru" should take "wa" and not "ga", although I was told by a Japanese person that either was acceptable. I do believe, however, that "wa" is correct here, owing to the fact that "wa" marks contrasting elements. If this were to be one sentence, I suppose it would be something like this: "futtobôru wa suki de wa aru ga, basukettobôru wa suki ja nai." However, this sentence is slightly different from the sentences above. Also, the reason that I had "de nai" in the second sentence is because I did not feel that there should be a "wa" to negate "suki de" since it is not the main focus of the sentence. However, I am now wondering whether or not that whole question can be thrown aside with negative sentences. I would still like to see a correct usage of "de nai" so that I can come to understand when it would be used. If anyone could help me out with any of this, I would greatly appreciate it.
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