Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

For example, やらなければならない can modify 時 to form やらなければならない時 and I know that the adjective い ending can simply have a noun appended after it.

However when it's contracted to やらなきゃ can I simply add a noun after it and pretend that the ない ending still exists even though it has been contracted and elided? Will it still maintain the meaning of "(The) time where you must act" or will なきゃ be forced to take on the meaning of "unless" as in a similar manner reflected in the answer to Difference between ~なきゃ and ~なくちゃ?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Both やらなきゃ and やらなくちゃ are colloquial contractions of やらなければ "If does not do".

All of the above 3 can be short for やらなければいけない/ならない "have to do" when used sentence-finally, but not when used in an appositive/relative clause.

 × やらなきゃこと
 × やらなきゃとき

There are cases where やらなきゃ and やらなくちゃ happen to be followed by a noun, but in these cases they're conditional clauses, not appositive/relative clauses. I.e. they're versions of やらなければ, but not やらなければいけない/ならない.

 やらなきゃ損だ If you don't do it, it's a loss.

As a final FYI, in slang/colloquial speak, you sometimes hear やらなければいけない/ならない shortened to やらなきゃだ in clause-final positions, expecially when combined with clause-ending or sentence-ending particles

? もう行かなきゃだよ You should go already
? もう行かなきゃだし、出るか! We have to go so... let's get out of here!

share|improve this answer
Isn't ~なくちゃ a contraction of ~なくては? – Nothing at all Jul 17 '15 at 17:09

Some people do use nouns after やらなきゃ.

For example, something like: やらなきゃ詐欺{さぎ}だ. i.e. "it is necessary fraud"
(or, "it is fraud that I have to do".)

But if anything, I normally see something like 〜いけない come after something like やらなきゃ. (And then, after 〜いけない placing a noun, or perhaps, a clause.)

Example: 〜やらなきゃいけないこと

or: 〜やらなきゃならないこと

For clarity, in this case, I would suggest using something like the full やらなきゃいけない〜 line.

By itself, the やらなきゃ seems to sound like: "gotta do" (something). I don't think it has to do with the "unless" in this case, though the translated nuance is 微妙 and I could be wrong.

If one was using something like 〜しないと it would be more like an "unless (I do something... it's gonna be bad!)" type of thing.

Generally, with modern Japanese (at least,) it's often easier just to use set forms of phrases and clause combinations... so that people better know what one is trying to say.

share|improve this answer
In the first of your link, やらなきゃ詐欺 is a compound noun pronounced with the tone "LHHHHL", and means " 'I have to do'-fraud". It does not mean "it is necessary fraud" as you write. – user458 Feb 28 '12 at 22:36
@sawa necessary = have to do (something)... in English. Not sure how the tone matters here. – summea Feb 28 '12 at 22:40
@summea: they can be the same thing, but different also. For instance, it might be necessary for someone to save the girl from the demon. However Hero A "has to do this" because he is in her debt. Also, I think that sawa is saying that the tone (I believe it's really the pitch) does define which meaning that phrase has. For example はし can mean bridge or chopstick depending on the pitch used to say the word. – dotnetN00b Feb 28 '12 at 23:54
@dotnetN00b I still believe that はし is a different case, here. The meaning of やらなきゃ does not change (at least to the same extent as はし,) depending on the tone. You could make the case that sarcasm (in the way a person uses the word...) could change the meaning. But again, not to the same extent as two entirely different meanings (like 橋 and 箸). – summea Feb 29 '12 at 0:13
Sawa's point is that as a noun it has a 'unified pitch' as a single unit, not the pitch of two separate words. At any rate, whether this is the case here or not, やらなきゃ詐欺 is quite different from やらなきゃならない詐欺. It's a bit like the difference between (English) 'places you must see' and 'must-see places'. The first features a relative clause; the second does not. – Bathrobe Mar 1 '12 at 0:13

No you cannot. やらなきゃ時 and やらなくちゃ時 are ungrammatical. やらなきゃ or やらなくちゃ cannot be used as a relative clause (or attributively).

share|improve this answer
Again, if you make a blanket assertion like "cannot", you may want to provide some sort of resource for where you are getting that information... that last example at the top of my answer is from a song title: "あ、やるときゃやらなきゃダメなのよ". – summea Feb 28 '12 at 18:45
sawa: Again, if you downvote without explanation, it doesn't help one trying to answer a question. – summea Feb 28 '12 at 18:54
@summea This website is to help the person who is questioning by giving an answer. It is not for helping someone who is answering. If the community thinks the answer is helpful, it gets upvoted, if it is unhelpful, it gets downvoted. This is for the sake of the questioner to be able to pick a correct answer. Not for the sake the answerers. Particularly if an answer cannot not even distinguish an adverbial clause and a relative clause, that surely is unhelpful. – user458 Feb 28 '12 at 19:04
@summea In your example, ダメ is neither a noun (in the strict sense) nor an adverb. It is an adjectival noun (aka na-adjective). And that has nothing to do with the argument. – user458 Feb 28 '12 at 19:13
sawa and @summea: Well obviously the site is to help the questioner, but I've seen plenty of posts where the answerers are helping each other and clarifying or correcting each others' posts. I don't see why this particular instance is any different. Also it helps the questioner know why the answer is wrong as well. Sawa's explanation of the lack of distinguishing between a relative clause and an adverbial clause did just that. So yes, it's not necessary to give a reason for the downvote, however it is still extremely helpful to everyone involved. – dotnetN00b Feb 28 '12 at 20:02

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.