As far as I get it, to create a must do sentence, you need to take the negative te form + wa + ikemasen/naranai/narimasen/dame.

What does this literally mean? Why is it a double negative? How does this change the meaning to needing to do something?


It literally means "not going (ikanakutewa) doesn't work (ikemasen)" or "I can't not go".

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  • Ah, so it's something like ''not going is no good, so I have to go'', While ikanakereba narimasen or ikanaito ikemasen and the like are more like ''If I don't go, it won't be any good, so I must go?'' – Dylano Stewart Rodrigues Mar 13 '17 at 18:03
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    Yes that sounds right. – xyzjayne Mar 13 '17 at 18:05
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    @DylanoStewartRodrigues It means "I must go", "I should go", your logic is correct, you could find it as "ikanakuchaikemasen" as well, is common for "cha" to abbreviate "tewa" in this cases, ikemasen could be replaced by "dame" too – Felipe Oliveira Mar 13 '17 at 18:53

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