I try to use the limit marker 以下 (less than, up to) with the particle しか to convey that the amount of less than 1万 for a bonus is fewer than expected. Can I use both words together? My sentence is:

A: 田中さん、ボーナス貰ったの?
B: うん。でも、ボーナスといっても、1万以下しか貰わなかった。




I think it's grammatically okay. Similar examples:


... but I think would probably say it like this, using 「も」:

--「うん。でも、1万円なかった。」 or

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You can use both words together, but it means something different from what I think you're trying to say. しか+Verbない is used to express that the preceding thing is the only thing that is true.

Thus, you should understand


as meaning that the only thing that is true is


B didn't get a bonus of 1万 and certainly not over 1万. The only kind of bonus B got is a bonus that is under 1万.

If you want to express that a bonus of under 1万 is less than expected (i.e. you expected a bonus of 15万 but instead got a bonus of 1万), then you would want to say something like this:



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  • I'm aware of the usage of しか to convey "nothing but". However, my question regards しか when used with amounts to express that the speaker thinks the amount should be greater or it is abnormally small. This has nothing to do with "being the only thing that exists", but with expressing the subjective judgement of the speaker regarding the stated amount. I've been taught by my teacher that も and しか can be used along with a number or quantity to convey a feeling of "too many" or "too few" respectively. For example, 昨日晩御飯にりんごを30個も食べた。/ 昨日晩御飯にりんごを1個しか食べなかった。 – jarmanso7 Jul 15 '19 at 15:43

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