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男: えっ、でもこれ全部ゴミなんですけれど・・・。
女: ちょっと見せてね。あら・・・だめだめ、これじゃ。いい?ゴミはわけて捨てなくてはいけないんです。
男: わけて捨てるんですか・・・。

This is from the book 聴解が弱いあなたへ. I didn't pay much attention to it, but I have a question about the sentence in bold.

I think this sentence means:

You have to sort your trash before disposing.

If I translate it literally, I would get:

As for trash, sort it and if you don't dispose it, that's bad.
or: As for trash, sort it and you have to dispose it.

(I translated いけない as "bad")

I'm specifically confused about 捨てなくてはいけない, which means "must throw away".

Question: Does 捨てる being in negative form also make わける also in negative form? Does なく affect both of those verbs? In this case, does it literally mean?:

As for trash, if you don't sort it and dispose it away, that's bad.
or: As for trash, you have to sort it and dispose it away.

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  • 捨てる is "throw away" not "throw" generally.
    – Leebo
    Jun 8 at 14:01
  • @Leebo Thanks. That's something I'm just used to writing. We say to "throw the trash" literally in Norwegian, at least casually.
    – firuvi
    Jun 8 at 14:03
  • Is that not the part you were confused about? "Throw" just sounds like you're playing with the garbage, while "throw away" means to properly dispose of it. But was that not what you were asking about?
    – Leebo
    Jun 8 at 14:05
  • @Leebo Ok, I was a bit unclear. My question was mainly the use of ては grammar structure in this sentence. I'm gonna edit it more.
    – firuvi
    Jun 8 at 14:09

1 Answer 1

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It's

{分けて捨て(る)} + なくてはいけない
must + {throw away separately}

rather than

分けて + {捨てなくてはいけない}
sort + {you must throw away}

わけて can mean "separately", eg 「それとこれとはわけて考えなければならない」(≈別々に考えなければならない)


Similar examples:

{離れて暮らさ}なければならない
must + {live separately}
{急いで家に帰ら}ないといけない
must + {hurry home}
{歩いて学校に行か}なくてはいけない
must + {walk to school}

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