〜ずに ( = zuni) & 〜ないで ( = naide)

= Kore narabazu ni kaetano?
= Did you get this without standing in line?
Hi everyone. Do you know what this cake is called?
It’s バームクーヘン (=baamukuuhen) = Baumkuchen.

Though Baumkuchen is originally from Germany, for some reason it is very common in Japan.  You can find it just about anywhere. There are a lot of variations such as chocolate, maccha , lemon cream and etc.

This one is covered with caramel sauce, just like crème brûlée and it’s  my favorite! !heart3!

They have been selling like the proverbial “hot cakes”.

Since it is very popular, people have to wait in long lines to get one.
Yukari got this today for me.  She said the line wasn’t too long. Lucky! 

So today, we will learn how to say:

!to right! “(to do something) without doing something”

You’ve probably already learned  ないで  ( = naide).

Note :ないで ( = naide)  is slightly more casual than ずに ( = zuni)

Yukari bought this sweet cake without waiting in line.

Ex. . ゆかりはこのお菓子を並ばないで買った。

= Yukari wa kono okashi wo narabanai de katta.


Just change ない ( = nai ) to ( = zu)

Ex. ゆかりはこのお菓子を並ばずに買った。

= Yukari wa kono okashi wo narabazu ni katta.

!star! How to form :ないで ( = naide) and ずに( = zuni)

:ii: verb negative form

食べない = tabenai


add ( = de)



Ex. 1-a)  何も食べないで一日過ごす。

= Nani mo tabezu ni ichinichi sugosu.

= to spend a day without eating anything.


Switch ないで ( = naide) with ずに ( = zuni)


食べずに = tabezuni


Ex. 1-b)  何も食べずに一日過ごす。

= Nani mo tabezu ni ichinichi sugosu.

= to spend a day without eating anything.

調べない = shirabenai = not to check


調べないで = shirabenai de = without checking

Ex.  中身を調べないで送った

= Nakami wo shirabenai de okutta.

= I sent it without checking the contents.


調べずに = shirabezu ni = without checking


Ex.  中身を調べずに送った

= Nakami wo shirabezu ni okutta.

= I sent it without checking the contents.


する ( = suru)


しないで = shinaide = without doing

Ex. 2-a)  勉強しないで試験に受かった。

= Benkyou shinai de shiken ni ukatta.

= I passed the exam without studying.


Now this one is irregular. Instead of saying ずに ( = shizu ni) , you say
ずに  ( = sezuni) without doing

Ex. 2-b)  勉強せずに試験に受かった。

= Benkyou sezu ni shiken ni ukatta.

= I passed the exam without studying.


苦労をする(=kurou wo suru) to have a hardship

Ex.  私はなんの苦労もないでずに育った。

= Watashi wa nanno kurou mo shinaide/ sezuni sodatta.

= I was raised without any hardship.


電気を消す ( = denki wo kesu ) to turn off the light

Ex.  妹はいつも電気を消さないで/ 消さずに寝る。

= Imouto wa itsumo denki wo kesanaide/ kesazu ni neru.

= My little sister always leaves the light on when she goes to sleep.
(She doesn’t turn off the light when she goes to sleep.)


飽きる ( = akiru)  to get tired of ~

Ex. よく同じものばかり飽きないで/ 飽きずに食べられるね。

= Yoku onaji mono bakari akinaide/ akizu ni taberareru ne.

= How can you eat the same thing all the time (without getting tired of it)?

Don’t you get tired of it?


Ex. 私のことは気にないでずに先に行って下さい。

= Watashi no koto wa kini shinaide / sezu ni saki ni itte kudasai.

= (Please go ahead without worrying about me.)

= Don’t worry about me, and please go ahead.

Ex. 今日はお化粧をないでずに出かけた。

= Kyou wa okeshou wo shinaide/ sezuni dekaketa.

= I went out without putting make-up on.

Ex. 今年も病気にかからないでかからずに過ごすことができた。

= Kotoshi mo byouki ni kakaranide / kakarazu ni sugosu koto ga dekita.

= I got by this year without getting sick.

Ex. 今から言うことを怒らないで怒らずに聞いて下さい。

= Ima kara iu koto wo okoranai de / okorazu ni kiite kudasai.

=(Please  listen to what I am about to tell you now without getting offended.)

= Please don’t get offended, and listen to me.

Ex. 彼からのメールを読まないで読まずに捨てた。

= Karekara no meiru wo yomanaide / yomazu ni suteta.

= I trashed his email without reading.

You can make soft negative imperative sentences.

Ex.  これからも変わらないで変わらずにいて下さい。

= Korekara mo kawaranaide / kawarazu ni ite kudasai.

Please stay the same. ( without any changes.)

Ex.  私が言ったことを忘れないでね/忘れずにね。 ( suffix here may sound feminine.)

= Watashi ga itta koto wo wasurenai de ne/ wasurezunine.

= Don’t forget what I told you.

Note :  You can say ないで下さい ( = naide kudasai)  but you can’t say ~ずに下さい。( = ~zuni kudasai.)

Another expression with ないで ( = naide)  and ~ずに ( = zuni)

!to right! 〜ないではいられない ( = naide wa irarenai)  / ずにはいられない ( = zuni wa irarenai)

= can’t help but ~, it is difficult not to ~

(When you are craving for something or you really want to do something and you can’t control your emotions, urges or actions.)

Ex.  マギーのことを愛さないで/ 愛さずにいられない。

= Maggie no koto wo aisanaidewa/ aisazu niwa  irarenai.

= I can’t help loving Maggie.

Ex.  お酒を飲まないで/ 飲まずにいられない。

= Osake wo nomanaidewa / nomazu ni wa irarenai.

= I can’t help drinking alcohol.

Ex.  この曲を聞くと歌わないで歌わずにいられない。

= Kono kyoku wo kikuto utawanai dewa / utawazu ni wa irarenai.

= Every time I hear this song, I can’t help singing along.

:qq: Note 1 )

Though ~ずに ( = zuni)  is considered to be  a written form  and slightly more formal than ないで (= naide)  , many of the expressions are more natural with ずに ( = zuni)

!yflower! Note 2 )

For advanced learners :

You may wonder what  the difference between 〜ずにはいられない (= zuni wa irarenai)  and〜 ざるをえない (= zaru wo enai)  is because they are both translated “cannot help but

I won’t teach you all the details of 〜ざるをえない (= zaru wo enai)  here today but it is used when you don’t want to do something but you are obliged to do that  because  you have no choice

Ex.  走らずにはいられなかった。

= Hashirazu niwa irarenakatta.

= I couldn’t help running.

Ex.  走らざるをえなかった

= Hashirazaru wo enakatta.

= I had to run.  (I had no choice.)

マギー先生maggie-senseiより= Maggie sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei


= Undou sezuni  yaseru houhou nanika naikanaa.

= I wonder if there is any way to lose weight without exercising…


Will you be my Patron? 

I appreciate your support!  サポートありがとう!

Become a Patron!


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  1. I need to say this, THANK YOU. I can’t count how many times I ended on your website while searching for something. Furthermore, your explanations are complete and easy to understand.
    I will probably try to use patreon for the first time in my life, as I really feel in debt haha.

  2. Hello Maggie sensei,

    Could you please help me to understand ないで/ なくて

    I mean, is it possible to use

    And are the following interchangeable too?


    Thanks my Lady.

    1. Hello, Frozenheart!

      1) 勉強しないで、試験に受かった。
      2) 勉強しなくて、試験に受かった。

      1) is better.
      しないで in the condition of not having studied
      勉強しなくて、試験に落ちた makes sense. Because you didn’t study, you failed the exam.
      Or add も
      勉強しなくても、試験に受かった Even though I didn’t study, I passed the exam.


      You say 3) but 4) is wrong.

  3. hello maggie先生!!
    does ないで exist in present progressive too? like can you say 食べてないで for example???
    thank you!

    1. Hello april,

      Yes. I will show you how to use the form.
      = Don’t just eat things you like and eat some vegetable.
      (general advice)
      (to a person who is actually eating)

  4. Hi Maggie.

    I’ve come across a variation of ~ないではいられない:


    Is there a similar variation for ~ずにはいられない (~ずままにはいられない)?

    1. Hi Peter,
      You say ままではいられない (negative form ~ないままではいられない)
      Ex. 知らないままではいられない
      but you don’t say ~ずままにはいられない
      X 知らずままにはいられない

      1. 元気です!マギーも元気ように。


        (please feel free to correct me btw – I mainly read rather than speak or write Japanese at the moment!)

        1. OK, let me correct your sentences.
          マギーも元気ように。 →(Casual) マギーも元気だったらいいけど。 or simply say マギーも元気?

          1. ありがとうございました!

            Every time I read something or try writing in Japanese I learn something new :)

  5. hello maggie-sensei! thanks for the lesson it was helpful!

    one quick question, do ある and いる have a ず form? thank you!

    1. Hello rubemar junior,
      as for ある(有る)we have あらず and as for 居る we have いず(居ず).
      あらず and いず are generally used in Classical Japanese.


  6. こんにちは、先生!このレッソンを書いてありがとう! I have a quick question about the particular meaning of the following phrases:

    “お酒を飲まないでは/ 飲まずにはいられない。”

    Does this have any negative connotations or express any sense of either “I can’t help drinking alcohol (because I like it so much)” or “I can’t help drinking alcohol (because I have a drinking problem)”? Or does it only mean “I can’t help drinking alcohol”, with any extra information about why the speaker feels that way being inferred through context or other info?


    1. こんにちは、frankie

      It depends on the context.
      When you use it negatively:
      It means either the speaker has a drinking problem or some shocking thing happened to the speaker and he/she needs to drink alcohol to forget about the problem, distract oneself.
      When you use it positively:
      When the speaker heard a good news, he/she wants to drink to celebrate it.

  7. Hello Maggie-sensei,

    thank you for the great lesson! :) I was wondering how do you build a zuni/naide sentence with words which are verbs in English but adjectives in Japanese, for example, 好き.

    Like, how would you say “I can’t stop loving cooking”. 料理すろのが好き…しゃないで?? I’m totally lost, please help :)

    1. Hi Alina
      to love = 愛する works “V+ずにはいられない” pattern.
      “I can’t stop loving you ” is (あなたのことを)愛さずにはいられない
      If you use “愛する” “料理/(料理をするの)を愛さずにはいられない”

      However as you said 好き is an adjective in Japanese so you can’t say 好きないで・好きずにはいられない
      If you want o use 好き you have to add になる
      〜を好きにならずにはいられない = can’t stop loving 〜
      〜を好きにならないで+ V = to do something without loving/liking

        1. 愛する = to love
          愛せる = to be able to love (potential form)
          〜ずにはいられない express one’s uncontrollable emotion. That’s why you don’t use the potential form.

    1. Hello Kibounokata,
      Nowadays ~ぬ is used as 終止形 of ~ず.
      In Modern Japanese 助詞「ぬ」 or 「ん」 implies negation just like ~ない.
      If you want to imply importance or if the sentence should sound formal, then you can use ~ぬ.
      Therefore it’s very often used in combination with ~てはならない/~なければならない, and works only with verbs.
      EX. 明日は会社に八時までに行かねばならぬ/ならん。
      EX. そんなことさせるわけにはいかぬ/いかん。

      In Classical Japanese ~ぬ has 3 meaning, but I think you are asking about modern usage.

      ( `・∀・´)ノヨロシク。

      1. Well Understood Ten’nin-San!
        _I Was Considering That (~N) Was A Wrong Spelling Of (~Nu), But Sounded Correct To Use Instead Of (~Nai, ~Nu). Arigatou Gozaimashita !happyface! & I Hope Maggie-Sensei Is Pretty-Well Recently…

    1. Hello Kibounokata,
      No it hasn’t been, because ~ず=~ない and ずに=~ないで.
      So 見つからず=見つからない

      ( `・∀・´)ノヨロシク。

  8. こんにちは、マギー 先生

    ひとつ聞いてもいいですか。『ずにはいられない 』と『て仕方がない』の違いは何ですか。『ずにはいられない』より『て仕方がない』を使った方がいい場合があるのですか。



    Sorry if you can’t understand this. I’ll type it in English if you don’t

    1. @Danny G

      こんにちは、Danny G!
      Both 「〜(たく)て仕方ない」and「ずにはいられない」are used to describe one’s crave.

      Let’s compare the following sentences.

      Ex. A; 彼に会いたくて仕方ない。
      I want to see him badly.

      Ex. B: 彼に会わずにはいられない。
      I can’t help seeing him.

      A and B both express one’s strong feelings for him.
      But A implies the speaker hasn’t seen him so that she is missing him badly.
      And B implies no matter how often she sees him, she wants to see him again.

      The main difference is,
      〜(たく)て仕方ない =to want to do something badly
      (focusing on one’s desire to do something)
      You may not be doing it now /You haven’t done it but you want to do it badly.

      ずにはいられない = can’t help doing something
      You are doing something because you can’t help it.
      (You may not want to do it but you can’t help doing it.)

      Also while ずにはいられない express when you can’t control your feelings, 〜(たく)て仕方ない is based on your will. (willing to do something badly)

      So you can say,
      I can’t help thinking about him. (You can’t control your feeling)

      彼のことを考えたくて仕方ない (strange)
      = I want to think about him badly.

      does’t sound natural.

      1. なるほど。 ニュアンスが少しわかりにくいですね。では、日本語で『I can’t help but eat pizza』を伝えたい場合は、『ピザを食べずにはいられない』を使えばいいですか。 そして、『I can’t help but want to become a doctor』なら、『医者になりたくて仕方ない』を日本語に訳してもいいでしょう? こんな感じはどうですか。


        Thanks again :)

        1. @Danny G

          そうですね。英語の”I can’t help but eat pizza”のときは「ピザを食べずにはいられない」で “I have a craving for a pizza. “のときは「ピザを食べたくて仕方ない。」と考えたらどうでしょう。
          “I can’t help but want to become a doctor” (If the feeling is kind of out of control) =文法的には「医者になりたくて仕方ない」と考えていいと思います。

          1. 返事が遅れてしまってすみません。なるほど。わかりやすい説明のおかげで、全部分かるのでしょう?
            でも、最近ドラマとかアニメとかであまり 聞いていないから、『ずにはいられない』という文法は話し言葉かどうかを考えずにはいられない。教えてくれませんか。ありがとうございます。


          2. @Danny G


  9. わあ、バームクーヘンが本当に大好きですよ!  !happyface!  日本に行くたびに、たくさん食べましたが、キャラメルバームクーヘンを食べたことがありません。 とても美味しそうです! 今年の5月に、東京に旅行して、キャラメルバームクーヘンを探しますね。 !purin! !CHECKHEART!

    1. @Palidor


      1. マギーちゃん、おはようございます。 カナダには今朝です。 はい、日本に行きます! 本当に楽しみにしていますね。 日本に行く旅行は四回目ですよ。 いつか日本全国を訪れますね。 :tulip3: :lol:

        1. @Palidor


          1. 今年の秋、福岡へ行きたいんですね。 来年の夏、たぶん北海度へ行くでしょう。 もちろんいつか、名古屋にも行って、マギーちゃんを訪ねますね。 MistyとMinkyを連れて来て、マギーちゃんと遊べますか??  ;8) !JYANE!

          2. @Palidor


  10. Hi, I have a question ~

    “妹はいつも電気を消さないで/ 消さずに寝る。”

    Isn’t it suppose to be 電気を消しずに寝る? Just minus the “ます” ?

    1. Hello Jenn.
      消す belongs to 四段活用動詞のサ行. A negation requires 未然形 of the verb 消す.
      Therefore: 消す ==> 消さない ==> 消さないで/消さず, because the 未然形 of サ行 is ~さ not ~し

      More infos you will find here: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%9B%9B%E6%AE%B5%E6%B4%BB%E7%94%A8  [日本語動詞の活用の種類]


      1. @Jenn

        Sorry for the late reply but you had 天人さん answer your question.


        ありがとう!! boucingheart! boucingheart!

      1. With other verbs is the same?
        It hasn’t a special implication (just a normal negation)?
        It is no longer used?
        If still used… what kind of situations would be used?

        Sorry for so many questions, I do not understand much, this part is new to me… 8-O 8-O 8-O

        1. @Veron

          Sorry for the late reply.
          No, we don’t use that form in conversation anymore.
          But we hear/see it when we quote an old saying. We usually use 来ない=konai = not to come now. (~ず form is 来ず=kozu)

          来らず= きたらず(= kitarazu) is from a verb 来る= きたる (= kitaru) which is an old form for 来る=kuru

          A good example of きたらず(= kitarazu) is a みくじ=mikuji= fortune slip, oracle slip that you draw in shrines.
          待ち人来らず= まちびときたらず = your future girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse or someone who you have waiting won’t show up.

          1. Thanks a lot… I understood perfectly.
            it is very reassuring to have someone to consult… !JYANE! !JYANE! !JYANE! !JYANE!

  11. Good job on another great lesson! I have 2 questions…


    I’m still having trouble understanding the も particle ;_; It baffles me every time I see it in a sentence without an amount to emphasize (ex. 1000円, 一言, etc.) What does it emphasize here, and in what way (negative/positive)? Also, what does なんの mean?


    Again, with the も particle >_< What is the difference between これから & これからも?

    1. @Marianne


      *苦労をする = having hardship

      *も here emphasizes 苦労(hardship)
      *なんの means “any”/ “at all”

      なんの苦労もしない (negative sentence)
      Not do have any hardship

      = without having ANY hardship

      We often use this pattern なんの〜も〜ない (negative sentence.)
      Ex. なんの手伝いもしない = not to help someone at all
      Ex. なんの手伝いもせずに話してばかりいる= Just chatting without offering any help/ helping us at all.


      これから from now on
      これからも from now on “as well”
      So this も means “as well/again”
      Don’t change the way you are/ Stay the way you are from now on as well.

      So なんの苦労もせずに without having ANY

      1. Thanks to Maggie Sensei, I think I’m starting to get the hang of も^^ いつもどおり、ありがとうございました!

  12. そういう意味だった。下手ですよねww 冬休み来たらこのサイトの全部レッスンを読んで勉強して頑張る。(文は違うと思うけど)

  13. 直してありがとう( ´ ▽ ` )

    1. @ナバ

      (直してありがとう→直してくれてありがとう。/いつも簡単に説明できる→You mean I can teach you in the easy way? how about マギー先生はいつも簡単に説明してくれます。)

  14. Thanks for correcting (๑・㉨・๑)

    1. @ナバ
      (A little correction : 使いたいことになった→使いたくなった
      If you are a girl, you can use あたし but it sounds childish or shallow who you use it with. I would still avoid using あたし. 私=わたし sounds better. )

  15. 感動したよ。早く答えてありがとう(*^o^*)
    あのさぁ、あたしProblem(I don’t know if 問題 fits here or not)がある。男言葉使えたいだけどwww ダメなんですよね?ヽ(≧Д≦)ノ

    1. @ナバ

      どういたしまして。のだ、んだ are very strong. It is good to study but you should avoid using this form when you talk to people.
      (A little correction : 男言葉使えたいだけど→使いたいけど)

  16. 先生、It’s not related to the lesson above but… I’be been hearing dictionary form of verbs used as commands. Like in Yokai Ningen Bem, I’ve heard them use ”Mou Yamerunda”. The subtitles said it as a command, like- stop, enough, etc… It’s kinda confusing me ヽ(≧Д≦)ノ

    1. @ナバ
      Hello ナバ!
      You mean “verb dictionary form + んだ”, right?
      (Note : ~んだ is originally 〜のだ)
      There are a few ways to make a command form (読みなさい!飲みなさい!やめなさい!座りなさい!→(stronger, male, rough) 読め!飲め!やめろ!座れ!
      And you can also make a command form with “verb dictionary form+のだ or んだ

      Ex. 読むのだ・読むんだ = Read!
      Ex. 飲むのだ・飲むんだ = Drink!
      Ex. やめるのだ・やめるんだ= Stop!
      Ex. 座るのだ・座るんだ = Sit

      These are all male speech.

  17. I’ve always wondered how to use ずに properly >< and now for sure I know how it can be used! :D thank you so much sensei! <3

  18. このレッスンはすごく便利ですよ!最近”ず”の文をよくみているですけど、私の教科書や辞書などみつけられませんでした。本当にありがとうございます。

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