Kanji in this term

Grade: 4


  • Tokyo pitch accent of inflected forms of "無い"
Source: Online Japanese Accent Dictionary
Stem forms
Continuative (連用形) 無く [náꜜkù]
Terminal (終止形) 無い [náꜜì]
Attributive (連体形) 無い [náꜜì]
Key constructions
Informal negative 無くない くない [náꜜkùnàì]
Informal past 無かった かった [náꜜkàttà]
Informal negative past 無くなかった くなかった [náꜜkùnàkàttà]
Formal 無いです いです [náꜜìdèsù]
Conjunctive 無くて くて [náꜜkùtè]
Conditional 無ければ ければ [náꜜkèrèbà]


() (nai-i (adverbial () (naku))

  1. nonexistent
    Watashi ga tēburu no ue ni tashika ni oita ringo ga nai.
    I know I put an apple on the table, but it's gone.
    Namae wa mada nai.
    I don't yet have a name.
  2. not possessed or unavailable for one to use
    Okane ga nai.
    I'm broke.
  3. not yet come, (expected but) not arrived
  4. first in occurrence

Usage notesEdit

  • This is only used with inanimate objects or things, with a few exceptions. When describing people or animals, () (iru) is used instead.
  • The kana spelling alone (ない) is preferred to the spelling with kanji (無い), which is rarely used.
  • This kanji spelling is not used for the auxiliary ending ない, which, despite having conjugation akin to this adjective, is originally a different word.





  1. ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN
  • 2002, Ineko Kondō; Fumi Takano; Mary E Althaus; et. al., Shogakukan Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary, Third Edition, Tokyo: Shōgakukan, →ISBN.