Japanese grammar しかない shikanai

Japanese grammar しかない shikanai

Let’s learn Japanese grammar しかない shikanai :

JLPT level : N3

Formation :

Nでしかない
Vるしかない

Meaning and how to use :

1. Emphasize on N. However, it’s used with the meaning not “very appeciated”. Is usually translated:”is just”
Only used with the combination: Nでしかない

For example

彼が天才と言われても、その才能を育ち続けなかったら、ただ普通の人でしかない。
Kare ga tensai to iware te mo, sono sainō o sodachitsuzuke nakattara, tada futsū no hito de shika nai.
Although he’s said to be a talent, but if he doesn’t keep nurishing his inborn gift, he will be just a normal person

いくら社会に打ち込んでも、人を殺した上はただ罪人でしかない。
ikura shakai ni uchikon de mo, hito o koroshi ta ue wa tada zainin de shika nai.
No mater how much you dedicate to the society, if you kill people, you are just a crime.

どんなにうまく言っても、行動しなかったら、結局駄作でしかない。
donnani umaku itte mo, kōdō shi nakattara, kekkyoku dasaku de shika nai.
No mater how well you say, if you don’t act, it’s just trash.

2. Describe “the only way…/there is no alterlative but to….”. Used in case there is only 1 way, method to do something.
Only used with: Vるしかない

For example

車が故障したので、歩くしかない。
kuruma ga koshō shi ta node, aruku shika nai.
Because the car broke down, I must walk.

彼女と図書館に行く約束があるが、今日彼女が風邪を引いちゃったので、一人で行くしかない。
kanojo to toshokan ni iku yakusoku ga aru ga, kyō kanojo ga kaze o hiichatta node, ichi nin de iku shika nai.
I have an appointment that we’ll together go to library with her, but she got cold, so I can only go alone.

だれでも手伝ってくれないので、自分でやるしかない。
dare demo tetsudatte kure nai node, jibun de yaru shika nai.
No one helps me, so the only way is that I must do it myself.

Related structures :

にすぎない nisuginai

above is Japanese grammar しかない shikanai. if you don’t understand the signs we used in fomation, you can find their meaning here : signs used in Japanese grammar structures.

You can search the structure you want by using the search tool on our website (using key : grammar + ‘structure name’ or you can find more Japanese grammar structures in the following category : Japanese grammar dictionary

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