Nuance Index

Ah, I see what you mean now.

So all of those are read as くさい, and never におい.
Ex- 煙くさい = けむりくさい
煙の臭い = けむりのにおい

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No worries lol. I honestly thought it was a holdover from all our troubles on the rendaku thread with that wiki :joy:

Not sure if this is the right thread for this but I need help with しか~ない
Some sentences I wrote, and I will put what I think the meaning is below (if I used the point correctly)
First is the “Only this many (expecting more)” meaning:

今日はこの本で2頁しか読めなかった。
Today, I could only read 2 pages of this book.

妹の話は一つしか信じられない。
I can’t believe even one thing from my sisters stories.

昨日は仕事で4人しか会えなかった。
Yesterday, I only saw other 4 people.

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Second meaning being “~only”

一番な所でしかできないことある?
Is there something you cant do anywhere else at your favorite place?

今夜、ゲームしかしないつもりだ。
Tonight, I was planning on just playing video games.

何であのレストランしか食べないですか?
Why do you only eat at that restaurant?

I’ll try to break these down one by one, hopefully it’s helpful!

Breakdowns

This is technically fine, but just be aware that the counter 頁 isn’t really used in day to day speech. I would say 2ページ, and also probably drop the で after 本. It’s a bit out of place and you don’t necessarily need a particle there.

This one is trickier, because what you’ve actually written is “I can only believe one of my sisters stories”. The reason for this is the しか really acts somewhat similar to “except” in English. If we look at your previous sentence and re-word it, “Today I couldn’t read this book, except for 2 pages” is a more literal translation.
妹の話は一つ信じられない would be what you wrote originally.

Another weird one. You’ll need to add a に after 人, as meeting/seeing people is 【人】会う. Otherwise it’s good!

Personally I think this one is fine.

Typically, つもり isn’t used (in my experience) with negative verbs like しない. I would reword the sentence to 今夜、ゲームをするつもりしかない to give the meaning you gave in English.

Similar to the meeting people, you need a で after the レストラン to mark it as the place where eating is happening. あのレストランしか食べない

Keep in mind, I’ve entirely avoided altering the sentences any further than correcting the usage of しか. There are a number of ways these could all be reworded to sound more “natural”, but that can be rather subjective and there’s no “one way” to do so. Ultimately, except for the sister example, I think most native speakers would probably get what you were trying to say even if it’s not “perfect”, per se.

And hopefully, you can look back at these and see that really it’s all the same usage of しか if you think about it in terms of exception.

-I couldn’t read (except for 2 pages)
-I couldn’t see(meet) any people (except for 4)
-Is there something you can’t do? (except at your favorite place)
-I don’t plan to do anything (except play games)
-Why don’t you eat? (except at that restaurant)

Edited to add: For future reference you may want to post in this thread for any grammar related questions! Lots of knowledgeable people that are pretty active in that thread.

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Ahh ok, I see where I missed on some of them. The others I felt was what I tried to write, but like you said there are definitely better ways to express those. I am just trying to use しか~ない

Thank you! :smiley:

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No problem! Like I said, it’s not that any of them are “wrong”, or wouldn’t be understood, Japanese is just a very different language with a different way of expressing things sometimes.

An easy example is “I’m hungry” vs 「お腹が空いた」. The English is expressing your own feeling of hunger, meanwhile the Japanese is “My stomach is empty”. Both languages use the phrases in a way that makes them practically interchangeable, but they’re not actually a one-for-one translation of each other. If a group of English-speaking people were hanging out and someone said “My stomach has emptied” out of nowhere, and not as a joke, they’d probably get some funny looks

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Yeah, when I talk, I just kind of let my brain run and hope I’m understood. Its haphazard but it is what it is for now. Maybe after a year it wont sound so broken but people seem to at least get me. Which was a big struggle 2 years ago.

Don’t misunderstand, this is exactly what you should be doing in my opinion! The only way anyone can pick up on natural and unnatural constructions is by trying and failing and exposing themselves to lots of grammar. I wouldn’t even call these sentences broken, sorry if I came across harsher than I intended! I only meant to leave room in case someone else came along with recommendations on that side of things.

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Ah no, no offense was taken xD

I think this one is common enough (in some genres) that worth mentioning - 闘い vs 戦い. Is it about process / goal?

I found another Nuance post.

https://community.wanikani.com/t/why-japanese-people-do-other-forms/11542