I few minutes ago on NHK news 「注目」 I've heard/saw the phrase 「やるっきゃない」. I have no idea what it means.. And what grammar rules are here?

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    3rd result on Google explains where the phrase comes from: detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1212799662 (It's a contraction of やるしかない: to have "no choice but to (just) do it". )
    – Will
    Sep 30, 2014 at 4:51
  • This word become obsolete. Sep 30, 2014 at 5:58
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    But it was used today on national TV.. Sep 30, 2014 at 6:01
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    Because the woman who first made this word famous died today. She is 85 years old. This word became popular about 30 years ago. Sep 30, 2014 at 6:13

1 Answer 1


っきゃ is an informal spoken contraction of しか, a particle. やるっきゃない means やるしかない.

The particle しか is always followed by a negative of some sort, either an explicit negative like ない or a predicate that is semantically negative such as だめだ or あるもんか.

Taken together, しか+ない means something like "only; nothing but". It commonly follows nouns, but it can follow other sorts of constituents as well. When it follows a verb, it means that the verb must be done or will unavoidably happen (= "there is no alternative to 〜"). Your example やるっきゃない means something like "have to do [it]".

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    Just want to add to this good answer that っきゃない is predominantly a Kantoism, meaning over 2/3 of the country would not use it much in natural settings.
    – user4032
    Sep 30, 2014 at 5:33

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