682 - まい (probably won't)

JLPT N2: まい (probably won't)

We've seen まい before, in this lesson: [NDL #437] - JLPT N2: まい (I [we] will not [never]).

まい is an old-fashioned negative ending for sentences. As such, you won't hear it all that often in everyday spoken Japanese. However, I find that I come across まい quite a lot in TV shows, video games, books, and so on.

In this lesson, we're looking at saying "probably won't" with まい.

An example:


ヘルメットをかぶって膝当てと肘当てをつければ、転んでも怪我はするまい
ヘルメット を かぶって ひざあて と ひじあて を つければ、 ころんでも けが は するまい。
If you wear a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads, then even if you fall down, you probably won’t get hurt.
Literally: “helmet + を + put on / wear (on head) (and) + knee pads + と + elbow pads + を + if you put on, + even if (you) fall down + injury + は + probably won’t do (=do + まい).”
Note: Since this would most likely be written, this "you" is referring to people in general.

怪我する(けがする // to be injured; to get hurt
怪我するまいけがするまい // probably won't get injured [hurt]




👷 Construction 👷

Generally speaking, we'll put a VERB in dictionary form before まい:

V るまい

If you want to use an adjective or a noun in front of まい, you'll still need to insert the verb ある:

i-adjective くあるまい
na-adjective / NOUNではあるまい

With godan (=Type 2) verbs, you can also do this:

V ないまい

Another irregular option is すまい instead of するまい.

To make things easy, I personally would just always go with "V る まい," because I don't want to remember all of that.


Well, with all of that out of the way, let's power through a handful of example sentences.

You got this. Just take it one word at a time...


マーガレットさんは10回はうちに来たことがあるのだから、道に迷うことはあるまい
マーガレット さん は じゅっかい は うち に きた ことがある のだ から、 みち に まよう こと は あるまい。
Margaret-san has been to my house at least ten times, so she probably won’t get lost.
Literally: “Margaret-san + は + ten times + は + home + に + has come (=came + こと + が + has / there is) + のだ + から, + get lost (=road + に + lose one’s way) + こと + は + probably isn’t (=there is + まい).”



政府の対策はいつも的外れだから、少子化の劇的な改善は望めまい
せいふ の たいさく は いつも まとはずれ だ から、 しょうしか の げきてきな かいぜん は のぞめまい。
The government’s countermeasures always miss the mark, so you can’t exactly hope for any dramatic improvement to the declining birth rate problem.
Literally: “government + の + countermeasure + は + always + out of focus / missing the mark + だ + から, + declining birth rate / decrease in the number of children + の + dramatic + improvement + は + probably can’t hope for.”




熱がないということは、インフルエンザではあるまい
ねつ が ない ということは、 インフルエンザ ではあるまい。
Since you [I] don’t have a fever, it’s probably not the flu.
Literally: “fever + が + don’t have + ということは, + influenza + probably isn’t.”




いくら食いしん坊のアビーでも、さすがに海苔は食べまいと兄は言っているけれど、どうだろうか。
いくら くいしんぼう の アビー でも、 さすがに のり は たべまい と あに は いっている けれど、 どう だろう か。
My brother says that it doesn’t how much of a pig Abby is, she probably won’teat nori. But I wonder…
Literally: “how much + a glutton + の + Abby + even (=でも), + still / all the same + nori (i.e. edible seaweed) + は + probably won’t eat + と + older brother + は + is saying + but, + I wonder (if that’s so)…”
Note: The speaker is talking about a dog named Abby. In fact, this is based on my mom's dog. ^_^



I'm guessing that most people will reading-this-lesson-twice するまい.

But maybe you're one of the special ones. ✨

Discussion

0 comments