第243課: The Volitional II: The Negative Volitional: ~まい

    Just when you thought you were done, you now have to consider negative volition. 

~まい

~まい shows negative volition. So, you have will for something not to happen. It may also be like ~ないだろう. The first meaning would be used in contexts like "I won't..." or "She vowed not to go". This can be distinguished from other contexts such as "it won't possibly rain". 

~まい attaches to the 終止形 of 五段 verbs and auxiliary verbs, which includes ~ます. As for 一段 verbs and する and 来る, it attaches to the 未然形 or 終止形. However, the 未然形 is better.

 一段 食べる + まい → 食べまい
 食べるまい (△)
 五段 書く + まい → 書くまい
 ~ます 書きます + まい → 書きますまい
 する する + まい → しまい (打ち消し意志)
 するまい (普通, 打ち消し推量)  
 すまい (ちょっとかしこまった)
 来る 来る + まい →   来まい 
 来るまい 

Grammar Notes:

1. It's possible to see すまい when it is treated as a 五段 verb like with 愛す.
2. It is also common in casual speech and some dialects to see よ inserted between the 未然形 and ~まい. For example, いようがいよまいが.


 Examples

1a. 雪が降るまい。
1b. おそらく雪は降らないだろう。(Natural)
      It probably won't snow.

2a. 勝てまい。
2b. 勝てないだろう。(Natural)
      I doubt you'll win.

3a. あの男は負けるまい。
3b. あの男は負けないだろう。(Natural)
      That man will probably not lose.

4. それは(たい)した金にはなるまい。
    That probably won't be worth much money.

5a. がいにはなりますまい。
5b. 害にはならないでしょう。(Natural)
      It'll do you no harm.

6a. ペンギンは助かるまい。
6b. ペンギンは助からないだろう。(Natural)   
      The penguins probably won't be saved.

7. 誰も信じまい。  
    No one will probably believe it.

8a. そんな手段は認めますまい。
8b. そんな手段は認められませんよ。(Natural)
       I will not approve of such a method.

9. もう二度とそんなあやまちはり返すまい!
     I will not make such a mistake a second time!

10. 明日、行くのをやめよう。
      Let's not go tomorrow.

11. 絶対に落第らくだいするまいぞ!
      I will absolutely not fail!

12. もう言うまい!
      I'll say no more!

13. いくら肉親の妹だって、姉の骨まで見たことはあるまいから、分かるもんか。
Even if it was your own little sister, you'd never understand since you've surely never seen bones to that of your older sister.  
From 死体紹介人 by 川端康成.

14. 「里子ちゃん、いらっしゃい。お雑煮のお餅を焼きましょうね。里子ちゃんも、お手つだいしてちょうだい。」などと言って、菊子は里子を台所へ呼び寄せ、信吾の寝部屋の廊下を走らせまいとするつもりらしいが、里子は聞く風もなく、ぺたぺた廊下を走りつづけた。
Kikuko said something like "Satoko-chan, come here. Let's make some zoni mochi. Won't you please help?" to call Satoko to the kitchen, and although it seemed she meant on not having her run through the hall by Shingo's bedroom, Satoko paid no heed to this and continued to run down loudly through the hall.
From 山の音 by 川端康成. 


 

 ~まいとする

 

~まいとする means "to try not to". It is normally replaced by ~ないようにする. This paraphrase can also work for when する is not the verb phrase, but in this case, because using ~まい is a little more common in the spoken language, such a paraphrase is not necessary. 

15. 笑うまいとする。
      To try not to laugh.

16. 笑うまいとしてもつい笑ってしまうだろう。
      Even if you try not to laugh, you'll eventually end up laughing.

17. 負けるまいとする。
      To try not to lose.

18. 会うまいと決心した。
      I decided that I wasn't going to meet (him).

19. その時までは決して彼に会うまいと心に決めていた。
       Until that time, I decided in my heart not to meet him by all means.

20. 彼女は眠るまいと決心していたが、結局眠りにつけてしまった。
      She was resolute not to sleep, but she finally ended up falling asleep.


 ~ではあるまい

~ではあるまい shows inadequacy. ~というわけではない is now common-place. ~ではあるまいし means "it's not as if...". 

21. 知らなかったわけではあるまい。
      It's not that they didn't know.

22. 馬鹿()じゃあるまいし、そんなことをするな。
      It's not as if you're an idiot, so don't do that.


  Volition+が・と+ Negative Volition + が・と

 ~(よ)うが~まいが and ~(よ)うと~まいと mean "whether...or...".

23. 真実であろうが真実であるまいが、まだ関係はない。
      Whether it's true or it's not true, I still have no part in it.

24. 行こうと行くまいと僕の勝ちだ。
      Even if you go or don't go, it's my victory.

25. 人が来ようと来るまいとまだパーティーを(ひら)く。
      Whether people come or not, I'm still going to throw a party.


~まいぞ

~まいぞ shows prohibition. Although ~ますまい exists, ~ますまいぞ does not. This expression is quite old-fashioned, so you may only hear old men say this or find it in literature. Tone would distinguish it from a negative volitional statement like above. 

26. 行くまいぞ。
      You mustn't go.


 ~まじき

~まい comes from the Classical Japanese ending ~まじ (the negative equivalent of ~べし). ~まじ only attached to the 終止形, except when it was attached to the verb あり (ある). For あり, it followed its 連体形, ある.

あるまじき happens to be retained in Modern Japanese in more literary/formal situations to mean "not proper to". ~まじき can also be found in other set expressions. 

27. あるまじき行為だ。
      It is an improper act.

28. すまじきものは宮仕みやづかえ。(Set Phrase)
       It is better to work for oneself than to work for someone else.

~まじ had every base except the 命令形. This is in stark contrast with the Modern Japanese ~まい, which only has a 終止形 and a very rarely used 連体形 (~まい). However, two older 連体形 still hold on. The original ~まじき can still be seen in set phrases, but in the early 1900s, the form ~まじい was still frequently used in literature. 

29. 「早くね、早くね。」と、言うなり後向いて走り出したのは(うそ)みたいにあっけなかったが、遠ざかる後姿を見送っていると、なぜまたあの娘はいつもああ真剣(しんけん)な様子なのだろうと、この場にあるまじい不審(ふしん)が島村の心を(かす)めた。
Her running off as soon as she looked back saying "hurry, hurry!" seemed all too easy like a lie, but as he looked at her retreating figure go farther away, a suspicion unfit for the scene grazed Shimamura's mind as he thought on why again she was always seemed so serious like that. 
From 雪国 by 川端康成。 

30. 士官しかんの軍刀と、半玉はんぎょくの守り袋や花簪はなかんざしの鈴とが、足拍子あしびょうしにつれて鳴った。兵士にあるまじい哀傷あいしょうの歌詞でありながら、二十五前後の青年と十五六の少女との合唱がっしょうであるために、進軍の歌の響きがあった。 
The officer's saber and the young geisha's little pouch and bells on her flowery hairpin rang along with the beating of their feet. While the lyrics were elegiac and unworthy for a soldier, there was a marching song sound for the lad around twenty five or six and the young fifteen or sixteen girl to sing in chorus to. From 童謡 by 川端康成.

31. 触れるほど顔を重ねて見るほど、能面にはあるまじい邪道だろう。
It was surely heresy unworthy of the Noh mask to even touch or try to put over one's face.
From 山の音 by 川端康成.  

Tense Note: Sentences with ~まい are always in the non-past tense because ~まじ indicates that something should or won't happen due to some experience.