I'm contrasting Yu-gi-oh cards in English and Japanese so that I can understand the underlying grammar idea.

This is the original (for the card "F.H.D") and the translation:

このカードは融合召喚でしか特殊召喚できない. This card can only be special summoned with a fusion summon.

I tried a lot to find on the web the explanation and more examples of this grammar topic, but in two days I've had no luck. Can somebody help me?

(Is there some kind of secret to finding Japanese grammar explanations? I tried so many wordings for the research, opened a lot of websites, but it feels like I'm looking after something that doesn't exist on the web).

Thank you all for the help!

  • A tip on finding grammar explations is to break the sentence down, particle by particle. Analyze your sentence as a "...しか...できない" construction, where できない->できる.
    – user11589
    Feb 2, 2016 at 16:01

2 Answers 2


「でしか」is simply the で particle combined with the しか particle.

The で particle here indicates an instrument or method used to carry out the main action (特殊召喚 in this case). It can be roughly translated as "with" or "using". Thus,「融合召喚で」can be translated to "using fusion summon" or something similar.

The しか particle means "only". It can be added onto other particles as well, in the same way は can be combined with others, producing compound particles like には or では. When using しか, the final verb must be put into the negative, which explains why できない is used rather than the regular できる.

Putting these two together, we get 「でしか~ない」, which we can translate as "only using".

This card can be special summoned only using fusion summon.

  • Ahhh, now I get it. Thank you so much. Your explanation is very clear and easy to understand. Now I see, =) Feb 3, 2016 at 10:50

Watch this video by learn japanese from zero.. he explains it very well.


Its not my video and Im not claiming ownership ^^

  • I like this channel a lot! Thanks for the recommendation. Feb 2, 2016 at 23:20

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