790 - な〈禁止〉と(言う)

JLPT N3: な〈禁止〉と(言う)

This grammar point will be pretty easy... if you've already read this N4 lesson of ours: [NDL #787] - JLPT N4: な《禁止》.

In fact, that N4 lesson had a sentence that, technically speaking, is the N3 grammar we're looking at here.

I wrote:

Vる doesn't have a rough-sounding nuance to it when it is embedded in a sentence (e.g. when you're quoting someone).

As such, it is not particularly "masculine" when used this way:


お母さんに、宿題が終わるまで遊びに行くなと言われた
おかあさん に、 しゅくだい が おわる まで あそび に いくな と いわれた。
My mom said I can’t go out to play until I finish my homework.
Literally: “mother + に, + homework + が + be finished + until + playing + に + don’t go (=[command]) + と + was said.”


In short, Vるなと(言う) is a pattern that is used when quoting a warning or command that was issued.

The verb 言う (いう // to say; to tell) can be replaced with other verbs expressing that something was said, written, etc. We'll see a few different examples in this lesson.

 

母はわたしに暗いところで本を読むなと言います
はは は わたし に くらい ところ で ほん を よむな と いいます。
My mother says not to read books in the dark. // My mother says that I shouldn't read books in the dark.
Literally: “mother + は + I + に + dark + place + で + book + を + don’t read (=[command]) + と + says.”

 

夫のお母さんに、子供の前で夫婦喧嘩をするなと怒られた
おっと の おかあさん に、 こども の まえ で ふうふげんか を  するな と おこられた。
My husband’s mom told my husband and me to stop fighting in front of our kids. // My husband’s mother got mad at my husband and me for fighting in front of our daughter [son].
Literally: “husband + の + mother + に, + children + の + in front of + で + fight between a married couple + を + don’t do (=[command]) + と + were gotten angry at.”


I always have a hard time translating Japanese sentences in which the verb 怒る (おこる // to get angry; to get mad) is actually being used to mean "to scold" or "to reprimand," which is why I wrote two possible translations here.

I suppose I could have just put, "My husband's mom scolded us for fighting in front of our kids." I didn't do that because I notice the word "scold" being used far too much in English translations of Japanese. In particular, you'll notice that Japanese people use this word too often when speaking English.

When translating, is it better to overuse a word that is closer to the meaning of the original Japanese or to search for a phrase that, while slightly different than the original Japanese, would be more natural in English in that situation? I suppose it depends on the situation.

In any case, I did decide to use "scold" in the translation of this sentence:

妹とグレープフルーツでキャッチボールをしていたら、父に食べ物で遊ぶなとしかられた
いもうと と グレープフルーツ で キャッチボール を していたら、 ちち に たべもの で あそぶな と しかられた。
My father scolded my little sister and me for playing catch with a grapefruit. He told us we shouldn't play with food.
Literally: “younger sister + と + grapefruit + で + playing catch (lit. ‘catch-ball’) + を + when we were doing, + father + に + food + で + don’t play (=[command]) + と + were scolded.”


Or maybe I should have just put, "When my father saw my little sister and me playing catch with a grapefruit, he told us we shouldn't play with our food." But then there is absolutely no nuance of the speaker having been reprimanded by the father. Hmm... Translation can be tricky, yeah?

 

Our last example:

先生は私たちに、危ないから自転車の二人乗りはするなと言った
せんせい は わたしたち に、 あぶない から じてんしゃ の ふたりのり は するな と いった。
Our teacher told us not to ride on one bike with two people, saying it’s dangerous.
Literally: “sensei + は + we + に, + dangerous + because + bicycle + の + two people riding (a bicycle [motorbike]) + は + don’t do (=[command]) + と + said.”

 

I mentioned earlier that, if you've already studied Vる in this previous lesson, the grammar of this current lesson shouldn't be too hard.

That doesn't mean the lesson is easy, though. Our sentences were fairly lengthy, and we used a wide variety of vocabulary.

Checking that you now understand all of the vocabulary in our example sentences would certainly be a worthwhile activity, yeah?
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