So, I've been reading a manga and there is a phrase that I can't get. It says:


Those two sentences are separated.
So what I understand about is that if the thing is useless he has to use his bare hands. To give more context they are talking about using a knife.


Let's parse your sentences to try to make it a bit clearer:

使い物 = a usable item
= (change of state)
ならなきゃ = ならなければ = if it doesn't become / if it isn't
素手で = with bare hands
やる = do
だけ = only / no other option
= question / rhetorical device

You mentioned that the context was that this is about a knife. So we can separate this into two clauses:

使い物にならなきゃ If it's not usable (If I can't use this knife),
素手でやるだけか I guess there's no choice but to use my bare hands.

Without the full context, it's a little difficult to decide on the best translation since I don't know what the character is trying to do. But hopefully parsing it in that way makes the intended meaning clearer.

  • Thanks, and for parse the sentence, it was really helpful
    – Owen98
    May 27 '19 at 17:02

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