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(しかた)がない(2)

(1) ほかに(2) 仕方(しかた)ない


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About よりしかたがない

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(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()(なお)より仕方(しかた)がない
    This building is in 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)通行(つうこう)()めになっている(ため)下道(したみち)使(つか)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(かね)必要(ひつよう)なので(はたら)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(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 (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 (ほか)に.
  • 自転車(じてんしゃ)のチェーンとブレーキがぶっ(こわ)れたので、()てるより(ほか)にない
    My bicycle chain and brakes are busted, so I have no choice but to throw them away.
  • 上司(じょうし)のパワハラのせいで()んできたので、精神科(せいしんか)()より(ほか)にない
    My mental health is not doing well because of my boss' power harassment, so I have no choice but to go to a therapist.
  • あんなひどい(こと)()ってしまったので、(あやま)より(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'.




    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.


    In life, there are both good days and bad days. Therefore we have no choice but to accept the bad ones.


    If you become a parent, you have no choice but to get accustomed to being woken up in the middle of the night.


    If you want to enter a marathon, there is no choice but to steadily pile on the training.

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      よりしかたがない – Grammar Discussion

      Most Recent Replies (2 in total)

      • Mannelito


        I’m having a really hard time separating より仕方がない and よりほかない, I can’t figure out a consistent pattern to tell these apart/which one to use and when. Somebody help!?

      • IcyIceBear


        I know these parts of the forum don’t see much light but I thought I’d ask anyway. The sentence prompt asked for formal -old fashioned . But no where in the grammar description does it say old fashion, and in the grammar info it says it’s standard register

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