自転車は、忙しい車道じゃなく、歩道を走るべきだ。

How is the grammar functioning here, じゃなく is used for “are not for”. Any breakdowns and or further examples of how じゃない is functioning and why?

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I think it’s just for contrasting what comes after and giving a bit more context. ‘Bikes should use the pavement, not busy (and dangerous) roads.’

Here’s some other WK context sentences I found that use じゃなく

対立するんじゃなく、一しょにきょう力してがんばろうよ!
Why don’t we cooperate and work hard together instead of competing?

いいですか。英語じゃなくて日本語ですよ。
Okay? Not English, Japanese.

ホグワーツ特急は電車じゃなくて汽車です。
The Hogwarts Express isn’t an electric train, it’s a steam train.

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It’s just じゃない which means “not”.

The form it’s in makes it the sentence continue on. It’s the same if it were じゃなくて intead. I don’t really agree with any “contrasting” or “giving context” necessarily. It’s just saying “not A, B.”

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I think “not A, B” is making a contrast (in both English and Japanese) – if you didn’t want the contrast you’d just say “B”.

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I disagree (both for english and japanese), but maybe I just don’t know what the word contrast means. Its about as straightforward grammar as it gets, so so long as the translation is agreed upon I don’t think it matters what you call it anyways, though.

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“contrast: a difference between two or more people or things that you can see clearly when they are compared or put close together; the fact of comparing two or more things in order to show the differences between them”. The sentence structure puts A and B close together in order to show the difference between them (e.g. the difference that makes busy roads a bad place for bikes and pavements a good one).

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Still don’t see it honestly. Just sounds like a normal statement to me. “I’m not jewish, I’m christian” doesn’t really sound like comparing judaism and christiantiy. It just sounds like someone thought i was jewish for some reason so I needed to state that was wrong. Likewise the sentence just sounds to me like it needs to be stated that bikes are not for the roads because some people think they are, so they did.

I can’t be spending my immersion time going back and forth on trivial grammar though, so we’ll have to agree to disagree on the 細かい stuff.

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This is the sentence from 歩道’s page right? Where did you see “are not for”?

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Thank you everyone, I will read the replies. Something interesting a native Japanese speaker pointed out to me is that 忙しい is incorrectly used in this sentence, as it can only be used to describe busy people, not things such as roads. Looking at Jisho’s context sentences, I can’t find it being used for anything but people either.

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Did the Japanese native suggest an alternative? Something like 賑やか maybe?

賑やか is more like bustling, so you wouldn’t use it with things such as cars as far as I know, when you’re using it to describe something that is not sentient, you are using it to describe the presence of many sentient beings (people, birds). Although I might be wrong, anyone who has lived in Japan might know better if people use 賑やか for traffic, but I haven’t seen in written.

He said you would use 車が多い. He also pointed out funnily enough that “Japanese laws stipulate that bicycles must not be ridden on sidewalks” which I also found funny, I suppose it’s similar to where I live though, but apparently it’s not enforced in Japan as it is not here either.
More info

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Jisho has this example when you search for ‘busy road’

混雑 (こんざつ) した道路は小さな子供にとって危険です

混雑 (こんざつ) meaning congested or crowded it seems.

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車の多い道路 probably doesn’t always mean there’s some sort of congestion, just that there’s a lot of passing traffic, so they wouldn’t always be able to be used interchangeably. (Just basing this off my scan of some google top results using these phrases, a native would be able to clarify I am sure.)

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I’d suggest んでいる, as that’s usually what I hear in regards to roads being congested.

忙しい is busy as in “has a lot going on”, so that’s why it doesn’t work for none people-things (at least most of the time).

賑やか is “bustling” in the sense of something being lively, so it has the feel that there’s a lot of activity going on. A 賑やかな道路 would probably give the image that there’s some kind of event happening on the road.

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The main example isn’t about congestion, which is why I think the basic 車の多い is what the Japanese native suggested, it’s just talking about a busy street, which can mean there’s just a lot of passing traffic, not necessarily that it’s to the point of congestion.

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@Mods I saw someone ping you on another forum post, so I’ll try here. There’s a improperly used word in this example sentence.

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Hi there! Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I’ll share your point about 忙しい being incorrectly used in this sentence with our native speakers and see if we’d like to change it.

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