Grammar Info
N2 Lesson 3: 15/23

there is no choice but, can't be helped, inevitable

Verb + より + (ほか(1))+ 仕方がない(2)

(1) ほかに (2) 仕方ない
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Often seen as a set phrase, よりしかたがない consists of より, the noun 仕方(しかた) ‘way’ or ‘method’, が and ない. When preceded by a verb in its dictionary form, it just conveys that ‘there is no choice but (A)’, or that ‘(A) cannot be helped’.
Occasionally the が will be dropped, between 仕方(しかた) and ない.
  • この建物(たてもの)はボロボロでいつ倒(たお)れてもおかしくないので、倉庫(そうこ)として使(つか)いたいなら立(た)て直(なお)すより仕方(しかた)がない
    This building is in a bad condition and could fall down at any time, so if I want to use it as a warehouse, I have no choice but to rebuild it.
  • 高速道路(こうそくどうろ)が通行(つうこう)止(ど)めになっている為(ため)、下道(したみち)を使(つか)うより仕方(しかた)がない
    Since the expressway is closed, there is no choice but to take the normal road.
  • 生活(せいかつ)をするにはお金(かね)が必要(ひつよう)なので働(はたら)くより仕方(しかた)ない
    I need money in order to live, so there is no choice but to work.
Keeping almost exactly the same style of translation is a similar pattern, より他(ほか)にない. The only actual difference is that this structure expresses that there is no ‘other’ alternative, rather than being no ‘method’. The noun 他(ほか) ‘other’ and に will simply replace 仕方(しかた) ‘method’ and が.
As with 仕方(しかた)が, the に will often be dropped in 他(ほか)に.
  • 自転車(じてんしゃ)のチェーンとブレーキがぶっ壊(こわ)れたので、捨(す)てるより他(ほか)にない
    My bicycle chain and brakes are busted, soI have no choice but to throw them away.
  • 上司(じょうし)のパワハラのせいで病(や)んできたので、精神科(せいしんか)に行(い)くより他(ほか)にない
    My mental health is not doing well because of my boss’s power harassment, so I have no choice but to go to a therapist.
  • あんなひどい事(こと)を言(い)ってしまったので、謝(あやま)るより他(ほか)ない
    Because I said such a terrible thing, I have no choice but to apologize.
Both よりしかたがない and よりほかにない have a tendency to express some particular evaluation of (A) that cannot be helped or denied, or simply that ‘given the situation, (A) cannot be avoided’.
Slow Male
Hide All
Hide Japanese
Hide English
We have no choice but to pay taxes, even if they are high.
It is a fact that there is no choice but to pay taxes.
[when しかたがない is used in a relative clause が can be changed to の]
In life, there are both good days and bad days. Therefore we have no choice but to accept the bad ones.
[AIAIJ] An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese
Page 169