Noun + だけしか + ない
- 彼は野菜だけしか食べられません。He can only eat vegetables.
- 土曜日だけしか忙しくないから、出来たら土曜日じゃないほうがいい。I am not busy except for Saturdays, so if possible it would be better if it wasn't a Saturday.
- この中ではタケシだけしか下手じゃない。他はみんな結構うまい。In this group, Takeshi is the only one that isn't good. Everyone else is considerably skilled.
- 何でこのコップだけしか500円ではないの？Why is this cup the only one that is 500yen?
- 私は日本語だけしか話せないです。I can only speak Japanese.
だけ - Removes one thing (from within a group), and presents it as the 'only' thing that fits a certain criteria.
しか - Highlights something that exists by itself as not having any alternatives.
Due to this, each meaning compounds together, with だけ saying 'just this', while しか adds 'and only this!'. Reversing the order and putting しか before だけ would not work, as the sequence of selection needs to be logical.
- 日曜日しかだけ休みが取れない。I can take only breaks on Sunday. (Unnatural Japanese)
- 日曜日だけしか休みが取れない。I can only take breaks on Sunday. (Natural Japanese)
At this time of day, there is only one doctor present.
Chairs are the only things here.
I only have one cousin.
I can only speak Japanese.
I only have 1000 yen in cash.
Get more example sentences!
Premium users get access to 12 example sentences on all Grammar Points.
Study your own way!
Add sentences and study them alongside Bunpro sentences.
There are no Offline resources listed for 「だけしか」.
You can . Resources are constantly updated, come back later to see new additions!
Bunpro tracks all of the resources you’ve visited, and offers relevant bookmarks of physical books to help with offline tracking.
だけしか – Grammar Discussion
Most Recent Replies (8 in total)
I was just about to create an issue about that! I agree, I’m thoroughly confused by the examples. To me, the example sentences you listed are polar opposites of the other ones on that page.
Not only that, but deepl.com and Google translate seem to be confused about the meaning, as well (and they work usually quite well, even for more complex phrases, especially deepl.com). Both translate “...
I immediately came here to see if someone had asked about this, and your reply took the words out of my mouth, as I had also used other translators out there to double check and that got me utterly confused.
It’s a shame there has been no answer to this riddle so far…
If 「土曜日だけしか忙しくない」 means “only Saturdays aren’t busy”, how would you say “only Saturdays are busy” with the しか～ない structure?
I came to this thread wondering the same thing as everyone else in this thread re: negative vs positive interpretations. I would have thought the sentences would be “only Takeshi is good at” or “only Saturdays are busy” or “the only one that is 500yen.”
Got questions about だけしか? Join us to discuss, ask, and learn together!Join the Discussion