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誓うか必ず戻ると was used when a character asked another to promise to return.

Isn't it supposed to be 戻らないと? Promise that you must come back?

My understanding is "~nai to" is used for "must" where as "~to" is used for "if/when" you do something.

What meaning the "~to" mean in this sentence?

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  • More context would help. A "dangling" と may mean と +いう、誓う、思う、etc. based on context, but just to make sure. Jun 13, 2018 at 17:37
  • That was the whole thing. The next sentence was just 約束くれるか? Reiterating the first line of vowing/promising.
    – shoryuu
    Jun 13, 2018 at 17:44

1 Answer 1

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This sentence is inversion and と is used as a particle for quotation. It means 必ず戻ると誓うか.

"~nai to" is used for "must" as you said, but this is rarely used with 誓う. So 誓うか必ず戻らないと(いけないと) is unnatural.

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  • Is that inversion a formal language structure? In conversation, I would expect it to sound like "誓うか、必ず戻ると", where a speaker is saying something like "Do you swear? That you'll be back?", but the absence of a comma or a pause leads me to believe that it may actually be a formal Japanese language structure. Jun 13, 2018 at 18:09
  • 2
    It is a way used in conversation. Jun 13, 2018 at 19:06
  • Ah I see quotation! In the say way as って? Then that makes sense. Couldn't find it in any grammar.
    – shoryuu
    Jun 14, 2018 at 5:11
  • Yes, って is also used as a particle for quotation. Jun 14, 2018 at 7:10

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