Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 8: 12/18


Must, Have to

ないとならない is generally not used and is best avoided


Verb[ない]+ + (いけない(1)

(1) だめ


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About ないと

As an extension of the 'if' meaning of , attaching the auxiliary verb ない to the verb before it will express 'if (A) is not done, (B)'. (B) is most frequently いけない 'cannot go', which makes ないといけない a double negative phrase, which translates to 'must do (A)', or 'have to do (A)'.
いけない may be replaced with だめ, to make the phrase more casual, but ならない is generally not used with ないと.
  • ライト(くん)(わる)んだから、リュウ(くん)(あやま)ないといけないでしょう
    Raito-kun, you are in the wrong, so you have to apologize to Ryu-kun, right?
  • 今日(きょう)勉強(べんきょう)ないとだめから明日(あした)
    I have to study today, so how about tomorrow?
ないといけない is regularly abbreviated to ないと, but has exactly the same meaning in these cases.
  • 明日(あした)テストある?!勉強(べんきょう)ないと
    There is a test tomorrow!? I have to study.
  • もう7()じゃん準備(じゅんび)ないと
    Oh, it's already 7? I need to get ready.
As has the 'and' nuance, it gives ないと a level of strength that is not seen in similar phrases like なければいけない, or なくてはいけない. Because of this, ないと is often used to highlight things which absolutely 'must' be done (obeying the law, adhering to customs, using common sense, etc.).
  • 歩行者(ほこうしゃ)信号機(しんごうき)(まも)ないといけない
    Even pedestrians have to obey traffic lights.


  • 約束(やくそく)(まも)ないといけません!」

    'You have to keep your promise!'

  • なぜ税金(ぜいきん)(はら)ないといけないのです?」

    'Why do I have to pay taxes?'

  • ()沢山(だくさん)だから一週間(いっしゅうかん)三十回(さんじゅうかい)洗濯(せんたく)ないとだめ。」

    'There are lots of children, so I have to do laundry thirty times a week.'

  • 「ほたるちゃん、うち(あそ)きてくれるの?」

    'Hotaru, will you come and hang out at my house?'
    'I am sorry. I have to finish doing my homework by tomorrow.'

  • 合格(ごうかく)したらまず両親(りょうしん)先生(せんせい)(つた)ないと。」

    'If I pass, I have to tell my parents and teacher first!'

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ないと – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (16 in total)

  • Daru


    Not all that short.

  • Pixel_Vapour


  • IcyIceBear


    Was looking at alternate acceptable answers… I’ve never seen 〜ですのです before? Is it actually acceptable or is it not taking the rest of the sentence into account

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