しか~ない - Grammar Disucssion

there’s only
nothing but

Structure

  • Noun + しか + Verb[ない]

[Noun + しかない → Nothing but (noun) exists (ある → Verb[ない] = ない)]
[Verb + しかない → Have no choice but to (verb)]

View on Bunpro

What is the [double negative] hint about? :thinking:

1 Like

@xBl4ck That’s a good question! I am not sure what I was thinking when I added this hint. Perhaps it had something to do with ちょっと possibly being interpreted as “not many” which would lead to the translation “nothing but not many.” Anyway, I have removed the “[double negative]” hint and replaced it with “nothing but.” Cheers!

For the example where you’re conjugating 空あいている, and しかあいていない is expected, is there a reason that しかあいていません is not also valid?

Isn’t the point just to use a negative existence verb? Another example’s correct answer ends in ありません。

Perhaps the issue is that you don’t typically use polite forms in the middle of sentences like that?

@Talos Thank you for your question.

You are absolutely correct! If a sentence ends in plain form (more often than not in polite form too) then it sounds unnatural to use the polite form of a verb in the middle of a sentence. The specific sentence that you are wondering about pairs しか空いていない with みたい which always pairs with the plain form of the verb. Cheers!