A few weeks ago, my colleague Yuko Tamura wrote an insightful article about the various ways Japanese words and phrases are abbreviated. Today, I want to provide an overview of abbreviations in Japanese grammar, where cutting things out is just as common as in lexical expressions.
Our first example is the negator ない (nai, not). When attached to a verb, it is often reduced to ん (n), as in 知らん (don’t know) or 要らん (iran, don’t need). Similarly, we also have すまん (suman, sorry), derived from the apology formula すみません (sumimasen) through the informal すまない (sumanai).
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