TAKOBOTO

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しか
shika
JLPT N2
Edit  zero
Meaning
but, only, just
that's all I can do
Edit  zero
Formation
See also
Phrases
ろーまじしかかけません。
I can not write anything but romaji [Roman letters]. (western person)
Edit  #508 Amatuka
たなかさんしかきませんでした。
No one came except Mr Tanaka.
Edit  #1048 dc, bamboo4
ひゃくえんしかない。
I only have 100 yen
Edit  #1057 Amatuka
あかいものしかない。
Nothing but red things.
Edit  #1058 Amatuka
そこはくるまでしかいけない。
you can only go there by car
Edit  #1059 Amatuka
えいごしかしりません。
I only know English.
Edit  #7813 Rinji_HalfElf
かれらしかわたしにれいをいわなかった。
They were the only people to thank me.
Edit  #8426 karekano
ほんのすうにんのともだちしかいない。
I have only a few friends.
Edit  #8427 karekano
かようのフットボールしあいのかんきゃくはわずかしかいなかった。
There were few spectators at the football match on Tuesday.
Edit  #8428 karekano
かのじょはきんをろうひすることしかのうない。
She never does anything but waste her money.
Edit  #8430 karekano
かれはせいぜいへいきんてんしかとれないだろう。
He will get an average mark at best.
Edit  #8431 karekano
かのじょはせいぜい5せんえんしかはらわないだろう。
She will pay 5,000 yen at most.
Edit  #8432 karekano
きみにさんせいだとしかいえない。
I can`t say but that I agree with you.
Edit  #8433 karekano
かのじょはかねもうけのことしかかんがえない。
She thinks of nothing but making money.
Edit  #8434 karekano
Discussion and comments
but / only used with neg. predicates & highlights expressed word
compared to だけ, which is used with positive nuance... check out comparison below
dc
Maybe its similar to the difference between "just" and "only".

3人だけでも十分
Just 3 people is fine

3人しかないので、大変だった
Only 3 people, so it was tough..

If you exchange, the nuance is different
3人[しかない]でも十分
Even if with only 3 people, its enough

the nuance is that 3 people is not really enough, but if we try we can do it...

Part of the clue is that after shika you use a negative:
shika[nai]
and dake you use a positive
dc
しか in comparison to だけ has a bit of an implication that the amount that /is/ present is small in comparison with what might be expected.
Amatuka
In the しか 'Mr. Tanaka' example the implication is that more might have been expected to come. There is not such an implication in the だけ version.
Amatuka
(Or such is my understanding ;-)
Amatuka
Yes, thanks Littlefish. The negative is definitely confusing without further explanation to me as well. So, I now read the 'Mr. Tanaka' example more literally as "Nobody, except Mr. Tanaka, came". Otherwise the negative isn't logical. So I think of it as meaning 'except' and wait for the negative to be 'nothing' or 'noone'.
SpurryMOses
Spurry is right, so corrected example #1048.
bamboo4
often used as 「しかない」- nothing but
dc
Or you can use だけしか to emphasize that there were no-shows.
bamboo4
I always got confused when textbooks said that しか...ない means "only," but ない is negative. This kind of threw me off. I've never seen it defined as "nothing but" before. Thank you :)
LittleFish
I think さえ resembles the English "save" quite a lot. So #1048 could also be "Save Mr. Tanaka, no-one came"
Chousuke
Uh, I wonder what I was thinking. Of course I meant しか, not さえ.
Chousuke
If you wanna use "save" in #1048,it would have to be "save for."
bamboo4
I know for this grammar that you often omit the particle.
ラーメンをしか食べていない sounds strange to me.
ラーメンしか食べていない sounds more natural.
Today, I wanted to say "Recently, I am only meeting XX". In this case you would say XXさん と/に しか会っていない. right?
I also hear 何々の前にしか会ってない。
Can anyone clarify the rules of particle omission?
blabby
In the notes,3人しかないので should be 3人しかいないので When you count persons, you use いる/いない and when you refer to inanimate things, you use ある/ない, as the general rule.Elementary, my dear Watson.
bamboo4
I learned this one as "no more than", which always helped me think of it as a negative-sounding idea, and so I never had trouble remembering to use a negative verb with it. Many of the examples use shika + nai, but you should realize that it is the negative form of ANY verb (subject to other grammar rules, of course.)
jmadsen
What's the difference between だけ and ただ? Is it just that ただ comes before a noun, and だけ after?
pingpongpaddle