Japanese grammar books say that ます-form should be used only at the very end of a (compound) statement. So 〜ないといけません。is a correct sentence ending. However googling "ませんといけない" finds lots of matches (348,000 vs. 482,000 for correct variant) which seem to be genuine sentences of native speakers, like


Is it a wide-spread colloquialism, or is ます-form actually allowed at each sub-statement end in a compound?

  • 1
    There's a post on meta about why not to trust google counts, try going forward a few pages in the results - there are not nearly that many hits for the ません version.
    – nkjt
    May 21, 2016 at 21:27
  • @nkjt Yep, missed that, only 49 unique results. So, is it a loose grammar of some native speakers then?
    – kroki
    May 21, 2016 at 21:36
  • When there are that few results on google, they're usually either mistakes by native speakers, material written by non-native speakers, or false hits (e.g. one is someone describing this grammar pattern and the actual hit goes: Vない+といけません/と いけない )
    – nkjt
    May 22, 2016 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


ませんといけない is understandable, but is an entirely broken expression. You have to say 気持ちを切り替えないといけません. This kind of broken Japanese may easily happen when, for example, someone who is very nervous has to make a formal speech, but there is no reason one uses this by intention in any kind of situation.

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