〜ているではありませんか vs. 〜ていませんか

Rainrover

Senior Member
English - US
Hello,

Is there a difference in meaning between (a) 〜ているではありませんか and (b) 〜ていませんか ?

Is (a) some kind of dialectal variation of (b)?

Thank you in advance!
 
  • frequency

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    彼が来ているではありませんか!
    You're surprised.:eek:! This is not a question.

    彼は来ていませんか?
    You're asking.:rolleyes:

    You can say なんと、彼が来ているではありませんか!, too.
     

    Rainrover

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Thank you, Frequency. :)

    Is the 〜ているではありませんか form regularly used to express surprise? It seems to include a 辞書形 followed by a form of です; is this considered standard or colloquial?
     

    frequency

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    You're welcome.
    Is the 〜ているではありませんか form regularly used to express surprise?
    (~ている)ではありませんか is usually regarded to express surprise. Yes.

    But ではありませんか can be a question: 彼は遅いではありませんか?彼は来ているのではありませんか?
    They're enough possible and must be good Japanese. If you think they are not simple very much, you can say 彼は遅くないですか?彼は来ていませんか?or 彼は来ていますか? instead. Don't forget that really roundaboutness is just the problem there.

    It seems to include a 辞書形 followed by a form of です; is this considered standard or colloquial?
    What do you mean?:D Have a look a bit: ではありませんか

    Without a question mark or exclamation mark, a sentence becomes a bit ambiguous. In speech, a rising intonation or falling intonation, of course.
     

    810senior

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    動詞+ているではありませんか is even closer to to think that(I never thought/guessed) you/he/she have(has) done that!.
    It sounds to me a bit colloquial, but neither rude nor vulgar, so it might be unsuited for the official language.

    If you'd like this to be an interrogation, you can instead say しているのではありませんか? but it is understood as a tag question. e.g. わざと知らない振りをしているのではありませんか?(you pretend you don't know it, don't you?)
     

    karlalou

    Banned
    母国語:日本語
    Is the 〜ているではありませんか form regularly used to express surprise? It seems to include a 辞書形 followed by a form of です; is this considered standard or colloquial?
    It's standard enough to be used in a です・ます style narration. I think it's because of the nature of an exclamatory sentence, it's not likely used in an official document.
    We would say ~しようではありませんか to propose something in a business talk or even in a business writing.
     

    frequency

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I'm sorry that webpage doesn't have the examples of ではありませんか!very much.

    1 なんと、~ではありませんか!:eek: is okay.
    You're waiting for your girlfriend. But you can see somebody coming. なんと、父ではありませんか!:eek:
    2 ではありませんか? is okay, too.
    遅いではありませんか?
    お忘れではありませんか?
    Rainroverさんではありませんか?(Somebody is asking you.)

    Isn't ではありません a negative copular form?
    It is a negative form. That's right. The three are different.
     

    frequency

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    (a) 〜ているではありませんか and (b) 〜ていませんか ?
    I've noticed what you wanted to know in the OP.

    忘れているではありませんか?
    This is okay, but long. Instead, you can say:
    忘れていませんか?

    お忘れではありませんか?
    This is okay, too, and a bit politer.
     

    karlalou

    Banned
    母国語:日本語
    Is there a difference in meaning between (a) 〜ているではありませんか and (b) 〜ていませんか ?

    Is (a) some kind of dialectal variation of (b)?
    I see that, too, that your (a) and (b) do mean the same thing when something is so apparent to you and you want to tell others with amazement, "Why? You don't see that?", and (a) is more polite than (b).

    For other cases, we need の between いる and では, in other words, we want to make the verb phrase into a noun phrase to connect the verb with では.
     

    frequency

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    忘れているではありませんか!:eek:
    =OMG you have forgotten it! :eek: (If it's you)

    忘れているではありませんか?=忘れていませんか?=お忘れではありませんか?
    =Haven't you forgotten it?
     

    frequency

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Yes! You're right.
    忘れているではありませんか?
    忘れているんじゃありませんか?
    忘れているんじゃないですか?
    忘れているんじゃないか?
    忘れているんじゃない?
    忘れてないか?
    忘れてない?
    All are okay.:D

    The other day KaleNovice asked, too: 話すんじゃなかった。:arrow:話すのではなかった。
     

    frequency

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Oof, yes it's perfect without the ten (、):rolleyes: but not a horrible mistake, and we see that way sometimes. That use of the ten in yours works as emphasis.

    As you can see in those examples, the availability of too many variations is the biggest obstacle in Japanese learning, I think. (This is off-topic, so I won't continue, though.)
     

    Rainrover

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Thank you to all!

    Is it fair to say that following a 辞書形 or た形 immediately with a copular form only happens in a limited number of constructions? For example, the use of ではありませんか (and its variations) to express surprise, and でしょう・だろう to express conjecture?

    Now to try out the new construction: would either of these be correct uses in expressing surprise?

    猫が沖したのを見た時「それはどうやってしてるじゃないか!」と思いました。

    猫が沖したのを見た時「その猫が沖してるじゃないか!」と思いました。
     

    karlalou

    Banned
    母国語:日本語
    After どうやって (=how), we apparently want a question.
    Ex. どうやってしているのかと思いました or maybe 「どうやってしているんだろう」と思いました。
    A negative question... どうやってしないでいられるのかと思う (= I wonder how it can stay without doing it)?

    If it's ~してるじゃないか!, it's actually strongly affirming that it's doing that!, just like "Isn't it doing that!"

    Is there a difference in meaning between (a) 〜ているではありませんか and (b) 〜ていませんか ?
    Is the 〜ているではありませんか form regularly used to express surprise?
    It's not necessarily a surprise but when something is so apparent, they can be
    (a) 〜ているではありませんか = (b) 〜ていませんか.
    How should ではありませんか! be parsed in this usage? Isn't ではありません a negative copular form?
    Both ~ていません and ~ではありません are a negative copula form, and here, in your case, each is followed by か, which makes a sentence interrogative. They are in the form of a negative question.
    However, in the case of your (a), it's missing the normal nominalizing particle の right before it, so it can not be a simple question, but it becomes ironical statement. It sounds too much like the speaker is so sure the fact is true.

    猫はそこに寝ているではありませんか is an ironical statement. This is the standard of the kind, quite straightforward, and ordinarily polite.
    猫はそこに寝ていませんか can be used to mean the same as above, but, as an ironical statement, this can sound even stronger and more ironical. However, when this is used as a question, it's just a simple question, and it's normally polite.

    Adding の here, 猫はそこに寝ているではありませんか is basically more explanatory. の is a nominalizer and is usually necessary. Depending on the tonal voice or context, this sentence can become a simple question, or it can still be a statement saying "it's so apparent".

    We can not always omit の.
    話すのではなかった is to mean a regret. If it's 話すではなかった, it no longer means a regret, but it means "The word was not '話す'". In other words, we consider the word right before では as a noun, and I don't know why but to express something so apparent with a tone of surprise or complaint or the like, even [a verb + では] grammatically works without の.
     
    Last edited:

    frequency

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    か is two-way (or more). 1 Question か and 2 Exclamation か.

    1 Question か
    それはどうやってしてるじゃないか!」と思いました。
    Say どうやってしているのかと思いました。
    Also see,
    きみはどうやって勉強しているのかと思いました。
    きみはどうしてやらないのかと思いました。
    「じゃないか」doesn't work in these cases. And these are reported speech.

    2 Exclamatory か
    Maybe you meant this in,
    その猫が沖してるじゃないか!」と思いました。
    きみは勉強しているじゃないか!:eek:
    きみはやらないじゃないか!:eek:
    You're surprised, and じゃないか works. You're right. As you know, you have other variations,
    きみは勉強しているではありませんか!etc.
    Is 「きみは勉強しているじゃないか(!)と思いました。」okay? Yes.


    Is it fair to say that following a 辞書形 or た形 immediately with a copular form only happens in a limited number of constructions?
    Note that using です、ます、た(?) doesn't matter in these examples.

    でしょう・だろう to express conjecture?
    きみは勉強しているでしょう。きみは勉強しているだろう。Yes! Well done!
     
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    Rainrover

    Senior Member
    English - US
    皆さん、とても助かりました。援助をありがとうございました。

    Now to review what you've all taught me. Thank you for being so thorough! :)
     
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