I just learned the contraction


can be used outside of constructions like 8時までに帰らなきゃいけない

Tobira gives the example: 「たくさん買わなきゃよかった…」

So my question is, in casual speech, do I always have the option to contract なければ to なきゃ? Are there any rules for when it is and isn't okay to use a contraction?

1 Answer 1


Yes, and not only can you abbreviate なければ into なきゃ, it is also common to abbreviate the entire なければならない into just なきゃ. People will figure out based on context which one you mean, but as you have noted, this is for casual speech only.

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