I didn't meet the Japanese.

HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
A: I went to party, and saw a lot of people there. I talked to a gentleman from Osaka, Japan. Did you also see him?
B: 1. I met the Japanese. 2. I didn't meet the Japanese.

Although both sound terrible, can anybody help me see why 2 sounds slightly better? I'm not interested in the meanings (they mean the opposite). I'm interested in why the negation sounds only a little more natural with 'the Japanese.' (Yes, I know adding man/person/gentleman etc. makes it a lot better and polite)

Merry Christmas to you all!:)
 
  • LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    I disagree with your assumption that the negation sounds any better or more natural.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    To me, neither sounds natural.

    I would not say "the Japanese" to mean "the Japanese person". Didn't you have a thread about that?
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Thanks, LVRBC. Hi, Doji.

    Yes, I've learned from a lot of threads concerning the -ese nationality/ethnicity words. It is true neither sounds natural, but some native speakers around me say 2 is somehow a tad better although both are bad. They can't answer why so.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Thanks, LVRBC. Hi, Doji.

    Yes, I've learned from a lot of threads concerning the -ese nationality/ethnicity words. It is true neither sounds natural, but some native speakers around me say 2 is somehow a tad better although both are bad. They can't answer why so.
    Another disagreement here :) The only time this might be usable would be if it were referring to a group of Japanese people at a multinational meeting - I met the Rumanians, the Greeks and the Danes but not the Japanese.
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Well, Julian. I am well aware of the singular -ese not being able to be used, but somehow still on a journey to find exceptions.:)
     
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