Posted on

Negative-ず-Form (Verb Conjugation) – How-to say “to do VERB2 without doing VERB1” ( Negative-ず-Form VERB1 + に + VERB2)

Negative-ず-Form (Verb Conjugation) – How-to say “to do VERB2 without doing VERB1” ( Negative-ず-Form VERB1 + に + VERB2)

In addition to having the standard Negative-ない-Form, the Japanese language also has the Negative-ず-Form.

The conjugation of verbs into their ず-Form is fairly simple, even more so if you are already familiar with the Negative-ない-Form as you simply replace the final ない with a ず.
たべる -> たべない -> たべず
のむ -> のまない -> のまず
いく -> いかない -> いかず
はなす -> はなさない -> はなさず
きく -> きかない -> きかず

*The two verbs する and くる express irregularity with this conjugation (as they do with numerous other conjugations) and become せず and こず respectively.

Historically, the Negative-ず-Form was just as generally used for negative forms as the Negative-ない-Form, however in modern Japanese it retains usage with only one grammar pattern: Negative-ず-Form VERB1 + に + VERB2 to mean “to do VERB2 without doing VERB1.”

This grammar pattern is essentially identical to the grammar pattern Negative ない-Form VERB1 + で + VERB2 as “to VERB2 without doing VERB1.“ It only differs in that is is considered more formal due to the ず-Form’s rather archaic status and is more commonly seen in written Japanese. However, there are certainly occasions in which it may appear in spoken language (e.g. depending on the actual statement, one might opt for ず-Form VERB + に over ない-Form VERB + で to avoid confusion with ない-Form VERB + で also serving as the grammar pattern that means “don’t do VERB.”)

When used in sentences, this grammar pattern is commonly paired with the particle に. While not doing so would not make the sentence grammatically incorrect, the presence of the particle is almost always the way this grammar pattern is used in modern Japanese and more accurately expresses the action not performed as an adverbial phrase to the action that is performed.


Kanojo wa nanimo tabezu ni kaerimashita.
“She returned home without eating anything.”

Doa ni kagi o kakezu ni ryokou shita.
“I left for a trip without locking my door.”

Ano ko wa itsumo ha o migakazu ni neru.
“That child is always going to sleep without brushing their teeth first.”

Nantonaku, benkyou sezu ni shiken ni goukaku shita.
“Somehow, I passed the test without studying.”

Watashi no koto wa ki ni sezu ni saki ni itte kudasai.
“Please go on ahead without worrying about me.”

Guzuguzu sezu ni hayaku shiro!
“Hurry up and get going without dilly-dallying!”

Similar Grammar Pattern(s):
How-to say “to VERB2 without doing VERB1” (Negative ない-Form VERB1 + で + VERB2)