忘れずにいたい

kyn

Senior Member
Vietnamese
I came across this sentence:
そのことを ぜひ 忘れずにいたい ものだと 思うんだ。
I understand the meaning of the whole sentence, but I don't know what role does "いたい" play here, could someone explain?

Does the meaning change if I rewrite the sentence like this:
そのことを ぜひ 忘れない ものだと 思うんだ。
 
  • Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    いたい in your question sentence is a synthesis of いる and たい (V tai — want to V). Since iru here makes little sense when understood in isolation as "to stay or sit," I find it necessary to explain the whole phrase that itai pertains to.

    忘れずにいたい
    In this construction, wasurezu-ni is roughly "not to forget" that allows to be modified by iru. Iru in turn specifies that the action of not forgetting is to continue for some time. One may want to call it a continuative aspect auxiliary. Finally -tai explains that the act of not forgetting is something that is desired by the speaker, with an implicit understanding that it would not take place but for his desire.

    In a monstrous English, the phrase is, "I shall be keeping from forgetting this." In a more plain English, it is "I shan't forget it." Unlike English, Japanese makes it obligatory to mark how an action should take place in this construction: whether it is a one-time action here and now or a constant effort that continues into the future.

    そのことを ぜひ 忘れない ものだと 思うんだ。
    As noted above, -tai expresses the speaker's desire. Without it, the sentence cannot mean anything volitional. As the way you put it, the rewrite sounds odd since the absence of desire contradicts with zehi, an adverb that emphasize that one wants to accomplish one's desire. Without the adverb, the sentence would be an objective statement about someone other than the speaker. With an air of admiration, the sentence would mean "I think she will not forget."
     
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