だけしか - Grammar Discussion

English translation:
To emphasize ‘~only’
nothing but

Structure:
Noun + だけしか + ない

Explanation:
Compound particle made of “だけ” and “しか”.

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I’ve got a quick question about one of the example sentences.

私には従兄弟が一人だけしかいません。
I only have one cousin.

What is the に doing here beside 私?

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This is alternative construction, you can use either 私には従兄弟が一人だけしかいません and 私は従兄弟が一人だけしかいません.
Both mean the same thing.

It is exactly the same as in:
東京には外国人がたくさんいます。
東京は外国人がたくさんいます。
to make things easier by analogy, you can think of yourself as location of cousin.
Literally: I have only one cousin with me.

I hope it helps,
Cheers!

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Ah, it makes sense. Thank you!

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These example sentences under the explanation confused me:

  • 土曜日どようびだけしかいそがしくないから、出来できたら土曜日どようびがいい。

Only Saturdays aren’t busy, so if possible Saturday is preferable.

  • このなかはタケシだけしか上手じょうずではない。ほかみんな結構けっこううまい。

In this group, Takeshi is the only one that isn’t good. Everyone else is considerably skilled.

  • なんでこのコップだけしか500えんではないの?

Why is this cup the only one that isn’t 500yen?

Am i just confused? Shouldn’t the translation be that only Saturdays are busy, and Takeshi is the only one who is good, and only this cup is 500 yen?

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