I have been solving the grammar tasks for JLPT N3. I have made a mistake in the following question.

お金をいただいてからでないと、商品はお渡し(    )。


I know the right answer is できません, but I still don't understand why. Can you explain to me please why other answers are wrong? It just seems to me that there is not enough context to solve this task.

I can guess that the first part translates like: If after I get money, it doesn't come off, the delivery of the item is... But I can't guess the right answer only from this. Can you help me please to understand it?

1 Answer 1


your confusion stems from the fact that you are mis-translating でない as "can't come off". However this is actually a portion of a standard sentence fragment:


which is a phrase meaning "something can't happen until something else happens first" (here is a link that might help: https://japanesetest4you.com/flashcard/learn-jlpt-n2-grammar-%E3%81%A6%E3%81%8B%E3%82%89%E3%81%A7%E3%81%AA%E3%81%84%E3%81%A8-tekara-denai-to/

so this sentence, with できません correctly attached, translates to

Until/Unless I/we receive the money I/we cannot deliver the goods.

  • Thank you very much for the explanation. I completely understand now. It just didn't occur to me it was some standard phrase since I have never seen it before. Thank you
    – Alex
    Nov 23, 2018 at 9:18

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