recently I've been talking to some japanese people and came across a problem that might sound stupid but I really had troubles expressing what I wanted.

I know the different forms to express obligations, it's been a while and I have no problem using them when I need to talk about what I have to do, however, I've found myself in a really stupid situation when a japanese friend asked me something about a game, and I wanted to say something like :

After you do this, you will have to do that.

But I had no idea how to express this kind of "obligations".

【~ないといけない】, 【~なければいけない】, 【しなくてはいけない】 etc. just sounded wrong to me...

In this kind of moments I stress and panic it really frustrates me not knowing something like that, so I end up speaking gibberish and changing the topic which makes me look like a complete idiot

So I would like to know how to express this sort of obligations in the third person, and how to ask someone what he has to do?

Thank you!

  • the forms you mentioned like ~ないといけない are proper and fit adequatly the situation. You could also say ~する必要がある.
    – oldergod
    Aug 10, 2015 at 0:37
  • Does this answer you? japanese.stackexchange.com/q/4669/7810 Aug 10, 2015 at 0:43
  • Thanks I've thought about 必要がある but wouldn't it sound a bit weird in the context of explaining what someone has to do in a game?
    – Tchang
    Aug 10, 2015 at 9:05

2 Answers 2


I, a native speaker, would panic, too, if I had to use one of those "textbook phrases of obligations" to say something as casual as "After doing A, you gotta do B." to explain something about a game. I would sound like a robot if I used any of the three phrases you listed.

What many native speakers would say to a friend in this kind of situation would be so much simpler than J-learners would think. We would use phrases such as:






  • Thank you this answered my question! So if I understand it well, instead of expressing the obligation with some of the forms I listed, I should only use 【んだ】 and translate it as "After you do A, you do B" which is kind of like an order right? And what about in formal situations? Like when using the 丁寧語 Thanks
    – Tchang
    Aug 10, 2015 at 9:11

How about the following



~てから emphasizes the chronological order better than ~て and しなきゃ or しなくちゃ are the informal of しなくて.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .