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I thought the use of this suffix was restricted to obligations, but the sentence below has left me confused.

この会に来たインドの人は「日本にいろいろ教えてもらって、早く空気をきれいにしなければなりません」と話していました。

Source: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/k10010874151000/k10010874151000.html

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  • I don't understand why you are confused. So what do you think this sentence means?
    – naruto
    Mar 1, 2017 at 18:07
  • An indian person that came to the meeting said: 'Japan taught us a lot of things. Possibly, our air will soon be beautiful'. Would it not be better instead of 'しなければなりません' write 'かもしれない', 'だろう' or 'でしょう'?
    – Pagginelli
    Mar 1, 2017 at 20:09
  • @Pagginelli Why do you think it would mean that?
    – Angelos
    Mar 1, 2017 at 20:37

1 Answer 1

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This しなければなりません just means "must", "need to", "have to". And that's the only meaning of しなければなりません.

この会に来たインドの人は「日本にいろいろ教えてもらって、早く空気をきれいにしなければなりません」と話していました。

  • An Indian person who came to the meeting said, "[I] have to make the air (of India) clean after Japan taught a lot of things to [me]."
  • An Indian person who came to the meeting said, "[We Indian people] have to make the air (of India) clean after Japan taught a lot of things to [us]."

This person is probably someone in charge of the air pollution problem of India, but since the subject is omitted, the second interpretation is possible.

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  • Since a group of officials and experts came to learn on behalf of their country, I would definitely go with the second interpretation. One person alone will probably have a very difficult time trying to clean up India's air. Mar 2, 2017 at 3:37

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