natural use of 〜なくてもいいです。

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by heckish, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. heckish

    heckish New Member

    spanish- US, english- US
    i haven't been able to be as serious as i would like with studying japanese so i want to check in on this and get some pointers.

    i know how なくてもいいです works, but my japanese overall is so poor that i'm worried that what i say sounds really unnatural and incorporates elements from english/spanish where it shouldn't.

    if anyone could point out things that seem weird to them from these statements and point out how i could improve ESPECIALLY with simple differences in word choice i would really, really appreciate it! any tips either specific to me or in general are welcome!

    two statements i wrote on my own recently for my homework were:

    "i don't have to wear a suit/suits for my job" 仕事にスーツを着なくてもいいです。

    "i don't have to study english" 英語を勉強しなくてもいいです。

    all of the things ive done aside from this just involved me translating stuff out of the book and it was VERY simple, but one thing also confused me because i hadn't learned a good verb for 'pay'?

    "i will treat you today. you do not have to pay". 今日あなたにおこります。支払わなくてもいいです。

    i feel like there's some kind of convention i'm missing and it should be a specific verb for pay (me back), but i'm probably entirely off base because my sense for japanese is terrible. :<

    thank you!
  2. hanako52 Member

    Your last sentence should be 「今日私がおごります。」. I am not sure if I have ever heard people say 「あなたにおごります。」. I think it is grammatical but we hardly say that.

    If you say "I don't have to wear a suit for my job.", I would translate it as 「私は、仕事にスーツは着ていかなくてもいいんですよ/いいのよ/いいんだ。」
    Likewise, "I don't have to study English." should be interpreted as 「私は、英語を勉強しなくてもいいんです/いいのよ/いいんだ。」

    「仕事にスーツを着なくてもいいです。」sounds to me, more like the HR person is trying to explain to you that you don't need to wear a suit in the office.
    「英語を勉強しなくてもいいです。」 could be a sentence that probably came out of the mouth of a teacher/parent.

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