How to use っこない ( = kkonai)

「僕に日本語なんて教えられっこないよ。」

= Boku ni nihongo nante oshierarekkonai yo.

= There is no way that I can teach Japanese.

 

 

「ハルカ先生どこ?」

= Haruka sensei doko?

= Where’s Haruka-Sensei?

しーっ!

= Shii!

= Shh! 

「ここに隠れていたら見つかりっこないからね。」

= Koko ni kakurete itara mitsukarikkonai karane.

= If I hide here, there is no way that they can find me. 

 

 

Hi everyone!

Today’s guest teacher is my angel friend, Haruka-Sensei.

Hi I am Haruka.

I have never taught you Japanese. There is no way that I can teach you Japanese but let me give it a try. 

Today we are going to study how to use っこない ( = kkonai) 

How to form:

verb masu stem + っこない ( =kkonai) 

やる ( = yaru) to do

→masu form やります (  = yarimasu ) 

→masu stem やり  ( = yari)

→add っこない ( kkonai)

やりっこない  ( = yarikkonai) 

verb potential form masu stem + っこない ( =kkonai) 

→masu form

書く= kaku = to write

→potential form: 書ける= かける= kakeru = to be able to write

→masu form: 書けます=かけます=  kakemasu

→masu stem: 書け= かけ= kake

→add っこない ( kkonai)

書けっこない = かけっこない= kakekkonai 

Note: verbs such as 

* できる = dekiru = to be able to do / possible to do 

* わかる = wakaru = to understand

already have potential meaning

できっこない = dekikkonai

わかりっこない = wakarikkonai

How to use: 

It is a casual way to say: 

Vはずがない ( = hazu ga nai)

Vわけがない ( = wake ga nai) 

which means “there is no way”/“It can’t be true that ~  “ / ~ is not going to do ~ / Not going to happen” 

Note: 1) You use Vはずがない ( = hazu ga nai) / Vわけがない ( = wake ga nai) with adjectives or nouns (+ ( =no) but you only use verbs with っこない ( = kkonai)

*+ adj.

There is no way that the exams are easy.

試験が簡単なはずがない

= Shiken ga kantanna hazu ganai.

試験が簡単なわけがない

= Shiken ga kantanna wake ga nai.

 :rrrr: X You can’t use っこない ( = kkonai)

* + noun

It can’t be true that a Japanese teacher is a dog.

日本語の先生が犬のはずがない。

= Nihongo no sensei ga inu no hazu ga nai.

日本語の先生が犬のわけがない。

= Nihongo no sensei ga inu no wake ga nai.

 :rrrr: X You can’t use っこない ( = kkonai)

* + verb 

There is no way that he could do such a thing.

そんなこと彼にできるはずがない。

= Sonna koto kare ni dekiru hazu ganai.

そんなこと彼にできるわけがない。

= Sonna koto kare ni dekiru wake ganai.

(casual)

そんなこと彼にできっこない

= Sonna koto kare ni dekikkonai. 

Note 2) The difference between Vはずがない ( = hazu ga nai), Vわけがない ( = wake ga nai) and Vっこない ( = kkonai)

While there are cases that you use はずがない ( = hazu ga nai) with past tense verbs, you don’t use past tense with わけがない ( = wake ga nai) and っこない ( = kkonai)

Ex. 会ったはずがない人から手紙が来た。

= Atta hazu ga nai hito kara tegami ga kita.

= I received a letter from a person who I had never met. 

X わけがない ( = wake ga nai) / っこない ( = kkonai)

Note 3) When you rephrase Vはずがない ( = hazu ga nai) / Vわけがない ( = wake ga nai) with っこない (= kkonai) , you sometimes have to change a particle to make it sound more natural.

Ex. 彼に私の気持ちがわかるはずがない。/ わかるわけがない。

= Kare ni watashi no kimochi ga wakaru hazu ga nai./ wakaru wake ga nai.

= There is no way that he would understand how I feel. / He is not going to understand how I feel.

→(casual) っこない ( = kkonai) 

It is not natural to say

X 彼に私の気持ちがわかりっこない

= Kare ni watashi no kimochi ga wakarikkonai.

Instead, you say 

彼に私の気持ちは、わかりっこない

= Kare ni watashi no kimochi wa wakarikkonai.

= (literal translation)  As for my feelings, there is no way that he would understand them.

Also you often use っこない ( = kkonai)  with なんて ( = nante) / なんか ( = nanka)

彼に私の気持ちなんて (or なんか) わかりっこない。

= Kare ni watashi no kimochi nante (or nanka)  wakarikkonai.

Note 4)  While you use はずはない ( = hazu wa nai) / わけはない ( = wake wa nai) with verb negative form, you can’t use verb negative form with っこない ( = kkonai)

Ex. できないはずはないできないわけはない。

= Dekinai hazu wa nai / Dekinai wake wa nai.

= There is no way that one can’t do ~ 

Ex. わからないはずはないわからないわけはない。

= Wakaranai hazu wa nai / Wakaranai wake wa nai.

= There is no way that one can’t understand 

X You can’t use っこない ( = kkonai)

*****

So when you strongly deny the possibility, you use っこない ( = kkonai). It involves the speaker’s emotion.

Depending on what verb form you use, the nuance changes slightly.

1) verb potential form: There is no way that one can do something./ There is no way that something will happen.

2) verb plain form: There is no way that ~ will happen. / There is no way that someone will do ~ 

The differences will be clearer with these example sentences.

*****

1) verb potential form or verbs which already have potential meaning: There is no way that one can do something./ There is no way that something will happen.

Ex. こんな難しい漢字読めっこない/ 書けっこない

= Konna muzukashii kanji yomekkonai./ kakekkonai.

= There is no way that I can read/write this difficult kanji.

Ex. エルメスのバッグなんて買えっこない

= Erumesu no baggu nante kaekkonai.

= There is no way that I can buy an Hermes bag.

Ex. こんなに離れた所からステージなんて見えっこない

= Konnani hanareta  tokoro kara suteeji nannte miekkonai.

= There is no way that I can see the stage from this far.

Ex. 兄に勝てっこないとわかっていても喧嘩してしまう。

= Ani ni katekkonai to wakatte ite mo kenka shite shimau.

= I know I am not going to win a fight with my older brother, but I can’t help fighting with him.

Ex. 落としたコンタクトレンズなんて見つかりっこないからあきらめたら?

= Otoshita kontakuto renzu nante mitsukarikko nai kara akirametara?

= There is no way that you can find the contact lens that you dropped. Just give up! 

Ex. 忙しいのに飲みになんて行けっこないよ。別の日に行こう。

= Isogashii noni nomini nannte ikekkonai yo.  Betsuno hi ni ikou.

= I am so busy that there is no way that I could go out for a drink. Let’s go out another day.

Ex. ロシア語なんてできっこない

= Roshiago nante dekikkonai.

= There is no way that I can speak Russian.

Ex. 血液型で人の性格なんてわかりっこない

= Ketsueki gata de hito no seikaku nante wakarikkonai.

= There is no way that you can tell one’s personality by their blood type.

Ex. 彼女が相手じゃあ、私なんかかないっこない

= Kanojo ga aite jaa, watashi nanka kanaikko nai.

= If she is my contender, there is no way that I can beat her. (She is too good.)

Ex. こんなにたくさん、食べられっこない

= Konnani takusan, taberarekkonai.

= There is no way that I can eat this much. (This is too much food.)

 

2) verb plain form: There is no way that ~ will happen. / There is no way that someone will do ~.

Ex. あんな弱いチームに私達が負けっこない

= Anna yowai chiimu ni watashitachi ga makekkonai.

= There is no way that we will lose to that weak team.

Ex. 今日は、雨なんか降りっこないよ。

= Kyou wa, amenan ka furikkonai yo.

= It is not going to rain today.

Ex. うちの父は、皿洗いなんてやりっこない

= Uchi no chichi wa, saraarai nante yarikkonai.

= There is no way that my father will wash the dishes.

Ex.占いなんて当たりっこない

= Uranai nante atarikkonai.

= There is no way that the fortune telling is right.

Ex. 役に立ちっこない本を読むよりも自分でいろいろな経験をした方がいい。

= Yaku ni tachikkonai hon wo yomu yori mo jibun de iroirona keiken wo shita hou ga ii.

= Instead of reading the useless books ( = books that are not going to help you) , it is much better to experience many things on your own.

Ex. 彼女が僕となんか付き合いっこないよ。

= Kanojo ga boku to nanka tsukiaikkonaiyo.

= There is no way that she will go out with me.

Ex. 母がLINEなんてやりっこないと思っていたのについに最近始めたみたいだ。

= Haha ga rain nante yarikkonai to omotte ita noni tsuini saikin hajimeta mitaida.

= I thought there was no way that my mother would use LINE but it seems like she has finally started to use it recently.

Ex. 外食ばかりしていたらお金なんて貯まりっこない

= Gaishoku bakari shite itara okanenante tamarikkonai.

= If you keep going out for eat, you are not going to save money.

Ex. 彼は、刺身なんて食べっこないのにどうして寿司屋を予約したの?

Kare wa, sashimi nante tabekkonai noni doushite sushiya wo yoyaku shita no?

= How come you made a reservation at a sushi restaurant even though you knew he wouldn’t eat sashimi.

Ex. こんな簡単な問題、間違えっこないと思っていたのに間違えた。

= Konna kantanna mondai, machigaekko nai to omotte ita noni machigaeta.

= I thought there was no way that I would get this easy question wrong but I did (make a mistake.)

*****

マギー先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

ハルカ先生、ありがとう!

= Haruka Sensei, arigatou!

= Thank you, Haruka-sensei.

がんばって日本語教えてくれましたね。

= Ganbatte nihongo oshiete kuremashitane.

= You tried hard to teach Japanese, didn’t you?

みんなも最初は日本語なんかできっこないって思っていたかもしれないけど今ではどう?

= Minna mo saisho wa nihongo nanka dekikkonaitte omotteita kamo shirenaikedo ima de wa dou?

= You might have thought there was no way to be able to speak Japanese but how is it now?

******

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Audio File for this lesson

:rrrr:  Part 1  Click here.

:rrrr:  Part 2  Click here.

 

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20 Comments

  1. Sensei,

    I have one more question related to はずがない and わけがない.
    Is there any difference between わかるはずがない and わかるわけがない?

    My friend told me that

    彼がわかるはずがない  is a little bit more subjective、 and can be translated as “I don’t think he knows it”

    and
    彼がわかるわけがない is a little bit more objective, and can be translated as “There is no way he knows it”.

    But is it true , sensei?

  2. Maggie sensei,

    Hello,

    May I ask 1 question?
    Among わけがない、はずがない、っこない, what can not be used with the subject “I” or all of them can be used with the subject “I”.

    For example, if I want to say “there’s no way that I can write such Kanji”, which of the followings is not correct?

    (1) 私はそんな漢字が書けるはずがない
    (2) 私はそんな漢字が書けるわけがない
    (3) 私はそんな漢字がかけっこない。

    Thanks Maggie sensei as always !

    1. Hi Frozenheart,

      Let me rephrase all the three sentences first.

      1) 私にそんな漢字がかけるはずがない。possible if you talk about yourself objectively but a bit not natural.
      2) 私にそんな漢字がかけるわけがない。OK
      3) (私に)そんな漢字はかけっこない。 OK

      1. Thanks Maggie sensei,but…
        Why we need to use 私には~, not 私は sensei?

        And so, do I need to avoid using はずがない for the subject 私?

        1. に has a function to express one’s ability.

          私にできることはありますか?
          彼にはわからない。

          You can emphasize the subject by using に.

          subject+ に + Verb potential form + わけがない/はずがない/っこない
          Subjectが+ Verb potential form + わけがない/はずがない is OK as well but since there is ”が” in わけ”が”/はず”が”, it looks/sounds more natural with に

          Also you say
          object+が+わかる as well

          答えがわかる
          日本語がわかる
          So if you say
          彼がわかる
          It could be “He understands” or “Someone can tell who he is” So it is confusing.

          You don’t have to omit the subject 私.

    2. いい加減にしろ is an expression. “Gimme a break! / That’s enough!”
      ふざけないで “Stop fooling around. ”

      いい加減にしろ is much stronger than ふざけないで

      ****
      お前はもう死んでいる You are already dead. (in the state of dead)
      お前はもう死んだ You already died.

      You probably translate in the same way.”You are already dead” but as you said 死んでいる expresses the state do it sounds like the person died physically but for some reason, his/her sprits are alive.
      死んだ is “died” simple past tense. It is like “You died. Period!”

  3. そんなに難しい文法はすぐに分かりっこないと思っても、先生のたいへんに役に立つ授業をもう一遍でもう一遍で勉強しないわけはありません。

    ありがとうございます。

    ちょっと質問あるのですけど。

    あんな弱いチームに私達が負けっこないって上の一つの例えには、その助詞のがを代わりに代えれるのですか?

    教えてくれるのお願いします。

    1. すみませんでした。なんとなく間違っていました。

      その助詞の「が」を「は」に代わられるのですか?

      教えてくれるのお願いします。

      1. こんにちは、ダビッド

        あんな弱いチームに私達が負けっこない
        あんな弱いチームに私達は負けっこない
        はい、この例文は「が」を「は」にしても大丈夫です。
        「私達が」を使うときは
        「この(強い)私達が」という強い気持ちが加わります。

        1. ご返事ありがとうございました。

          それでは、他の例文の「彼に私の気持ちがわかりっこない」は、その「が」は「は」のよりどうして不自然なのですか?

          1. 私もどうして不自然なのか考えてみました。ちょっと英語に切り替えますね。

            I have been wondering why it doesn’t sound natural. It could be the verb form.
            When you use a potential form verb (or a verb which has a potential meaning)

            Aに(~が)わかりっこない = There is no way that A (can) understand(s)~

            The main subject is A not a noun which comes after が.
            (The noun which comes after が is an object.)

            On the other hand

            Aに(Bが)負けっこない = There is no way that B loses A

            The main subject is B, the one which comes after B.
            So you can use whether が or は after B.

            When you use verb potential form (or verb which has a potential meaning) Vっこない sounds unnatural to use が

            Ex. 彼にそんなことができるはずがない わけがない
            →彼にそんなことはできっこない。 (The main subject is 彼)
            →(Not natural) 彼にそんなことができっこない (そんなこと is not the subject)

            Ex. 彼にその曲が歌えるはずがない わけがない

            →彼にその曲は歌えっこない
            →(Not natural) 彼にその曲が歌えっこない。

            I guess both っこない and が emphasize the meaning so it may sound too much emphasis.
            他に理由が見つかったらまたコメントいれておきますね。

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