I know that one of them is なくてはいけません and the other one なければなりません, I just don't know which is which, also a few example sentences would help a lot, thank you.

1 Answer 1


Obviously 「・・・しなくちゃ」 is a contracted form of 「・・・しなくては(なりません)」/「・・・しなくては(いけません)」.

e.g. 勉強しなくちゃ。
= 勉強しなくては。
= 勉強しなくてはなりません / 勉強しなくてはいけません。

「・・・しなければ」 can be contracted into 「・・・しなけりゃ」 but we don't say 「・・・しなけりゃ。」 to mean 'I gotta do...'

× 勉強しなけりゃ。
○ 勉強しなけりゃ試験に合格しないよ。

And I think 「・・・しなきゃ」 is a contracted form of 「・・・しなけりゃ(いけない)。」
http://okwave.jp/qa/q441217.html (See A no.2)

e.g. 勉強しなきゃ。
= 勉強しなければ。
= 勉強しなければなりません / 勉強しなければいけません。

You can also say 「勉強しないと。」/ 「勉強せねば。」

  • Is "勉強しなけりゃ試験に合格しないよ" actually "勉強しなけりゃ(ならない)試験に合格しないよ"? Can I elide that portion even though it's not at the end of the sentence?
    – Flaw
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 10:52
  • @Flaw san, The phrase 'しなけりゃ' can only work as 'unless', and can't replace 'しなけりゃならない'. (Literally, しなけりゃならない is "しなければ=if you don't" + "ならない/いけない=it doesn't work".) 'しなけりゃ' in '勉強しなけりゃ試験に合格しないよ' means 'if you don't...', and we don't say '勉強しなけりゃならない試験に合格しないよ'.
    – user1016
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 12:56
  • @Chocolate Thank you for your clear explanation. I was not aware of such usage of 'なけりゃ' before this.
    – Flaw
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 14:38
  • I was thinking more on that sentence recently. Wouldn't "勉強しなけりゃならない試験に合格しないよ" mean "You will fail the test that you must study"? Also, can なきゃ be used in the same way as なけりゃ for "unless"?
    – Flaw
    Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 16:04
  • @Flaw-san, Yeah...it seems grammatically fine because we can say like '予習しなけりゃならない授業には出席したくないよ'/'貢[みつ]がなけりゃならない女とは付き合えないよ' etc. I think they all have the same structure, '勉強しなきゃ受からない試験には、(君は)合格しないよ' might be more natural though. >can なきゃ be used in the same way as なけりゃ for "unless" → Yes, I think なきゃ would sound more natural in a daily conversation.
    – user1016
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 7:42

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