I am always confused with these two. As 가, being used as subject particle, is of no meaning at all, I wonder what are the differences in meaning or usage.

I usually see 지 않다:

그녀는 예쁘지 않다. 넌 가지 않을 수 없다.

But I also, sometimes, see 지가 않다: 대답은 왜 들리지가 않나요?

What noun particles can be attached to negatory -지? I had such a thought because of this question.

Any clarifications are much appreciated.

  • Nice question. +1) Please consider linking the previous question (I commented) or including some examples you find confusing. It will help you get a better answer. Thanks.
    – user7
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


Using '가' after '지' is almost tautological and it adds a little emphasis. For example,

그녀는 예쁘지 않다. She is not pretty.

그녀는 예쁘지가 않다. She is not very pretty. (I wouldn't say it is the right translation, but it is not easy to explain the difference in nuance.)

If you use '도' there, it would sound more insulting.

그녀는 예쁘지도 않다. She is not pretty, as well.

It adds another bad aspect of her in addition to the sentence previously mentioned or implied. For example,

그녀는 가난한데 예쁘지도 않다. She is poor and she is not pretty, as well.

If you use '는' in the sentence, it indicates a particularly bad aspect among good aspects. For example,

그녀는 부자다. 그녀는 차도 있다. (그런데) 그녀는 예쁘지는 않다. She is rich and has a car. But she is not pretty.

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