Need more clarity on short forms.

  • やらなきゃいけない
  • やらなければいけません
  • やらなきゃならない
  • やらなければなりません

As per my understanding all phrase will give same meaning. "Must do". I know this is very basic question but need to get more clarity on short forms, because in most of the conversion they are using short forms and not able to understand some times.

やらなきゃいけない is short form of やらなければいけません
やらなきゃならない is short form of やらなければなりません

  1. Is my understaind correct?
  2. Please also explain related short forms.

1 Answer 1


やらなきゃ is a contracted/collapsed form of やらなければ.
いけません and なりません are the polite forms of いけない and ならない, respectively.

So やらなきゃいけない (or ~いけません in polite form) is a contracted form of やらなければいけない (or ~いけません in polite form). Same goes with the ~ならない/~なりません versions.

We also have:

  • やらなくてはいけない/ならない (or ~いけません/~なりません in polite form)
  • やらなくちゃいけない/ならない (contracted form of やらなくてはいけない/ならない)
  • やらないといけない (or ~いけません in polite form)
  • やらねばならない (or ~なりません in polite form) ← sounds a bit literary/stiff

People will sometimes use だめ (+ だ、です etc.) instead of いけない/ならない etc.

In colloquial speech you'd also hear shortened forms such as:

  • やらなきゃ。(shortened/contracted form of やらなければならない/いけない)
  • やらなくちゃ。(shortened/contracted form of やらなくてはならない/いけない)
  • やらなくては。
  • やらないと。(shortened form of やらないといけない)
  • やらねば。(shortened form of やらねばならない) ← less common in casual speech
  • Answers my question, Thank you very much. During conversation Japanese guys are using many short forms, so got this doubt. All phrases will give same meaning right Must do Jan 25, 2017 at 8:13
  • 2
    @GrabNewTech My pleasure ^^ Yes, we have such a lot of different ways to say "must do"... BTW, here in Kansai we frequently say やらなあかん。 or even just やらな!
    – chocolate
    Jan 25, 2017 at 8:48

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