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<< nakucha | nakutemosumu >>

なくして [なくして] (nakushite)
    Meaning: If it wasn't for...
    Example: If it wasn't for love...
    JLPT Level: 1
    Category: grammar
    Author: dc

  [ Edit This Grammar Entry ]
Ref # Kanzen Master Level 1 - p17 - no.16 
Ref # A Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar p315 
The use of wa after nakushite indicates that the sentence is a conditional sentence. This means that when a sentence has a conditional meaning, wa is mandatory as shown in 山川教授...
= perhaps nakushite is "without"
= perhaps nakushitewa is "if it weren't for" - slightly stronger

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ex #5297   なくして、結婚生活は続けられない。  
If it wasn't for love, marriage would not succeed.  
ex #5298   民主主義なくしては達成できない。 
If it wasn't for democracy, it would be unattainable.  
ex #5308   苦労なくしてもうけなし。 
No gain without pains.  
ex #5309   私の許可なくして、君はそんなことをすべきではなかったのだが。 
You should not have done it without my permission.  
ex #5310   忍耐なくしては、誰も成功することはできない。 
Nobody is able to succeed without endurance.  
ex #7864   山川教授なくしては今の私は存在しなかったであろう。  
If it weren't for Prof. Yamakawa, I wouldn't be what I am now  

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  See Also:  
  • nashini    ((X) nashi ni (wa) is close in meaning to (X) nakushite (wa). nashi ni could replace nakushite in some cases:

    However the reverse is not true - since nashini means "without doing s.t. that should be done in advance"
    Advanced grammar dictionary - p317) [LR]
[ Add a See Also ]
blabbyI think a good translation for this is "If it wasn't for_,". 
I agree that it should be translated as " If it wasn't for...".
By the way, in ex #5309 the usage of なくして seems strange. Because it sounds strange when translated,
[ If it wasn't my permission, you should not have done such a thing].
〜なくして(は)...ない where the usage usually comes with
"If it wasn't ..., then..(followed usually by sentence stating : can't / doesn't have the potential or possibility to do or have something)"

It should have been :
If there wasn't any of my permission, you shouldn't have done such a thing...

Or 「私の許可ではなかったら、君はそんなことをすべきではなかったのだが...」
If it wasn't of my permission, you shouldn't have done such a thing.

Or another example for なくして,

MikiAs for #5309, I don't think the Japanese is wrong even if it sounds strange when translated. Please advise a proper translation for it. 
ex #5309 would mean that
if it wasn't of my permission, you shouldn't have done such a thing.

I am actually doubting the usage of なくして in that example,
not the Japanese.
Instead I suggest:
If it wasn't of my permission, it is impossible you could achieve such a thing.

After なくして、 it is natural to be followed by something that one can't achieve or something that is impossible to happen without it.

In #5309, it is 'shouldn't' instead of 'can't/impossible'

Here are some examples from a book:







There is a difference between 'If it wasn't for...' with 'without'.
Below is some explanation from my 先生:
bamboo私の許可なくして is perfectly valid in terms of written Japanese. In terms of spoken Japanese, perhaps 私の許可を受けないで would be normal, even though 私の許可なしに would also be acceptable.

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