View topic - negative
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shikoku ni wa sannichi shika imasen
(your sentence in Hepburn system, assuming you are referring to 'shikoku,' although I'm not sure if there is a city named 'shikoku')
In a sort of attempt at a literal translation this means 'As for Shikoku, I will not be there for but three days.' 'Shika-nai' is a set pattern which one must memorize and take for granted.
Unless, of course, i was thinking, it is kind of like the word, little, in English, which looks positive, but actually transforms a sentence into a negative statement. e.g. I speak little English.
I think you have the right idea with this
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oldwordstudy wrote:Folks ~
The speaker explains in English, shiga is only used in a negative statement, as here, indicated by "imasen."
Then, i realized, why should there be a negative statement in the first place? Nothing negative that i can see in the original English sentence.
But i still do not clearly see why this sentence is a negative one.
That's why I don't like teacher who try to explain and give weird rules that make it more complicated. Either you pick up the language naturally, or, if you do it linguistically, do it correct. Aaanyway...
四国 には 、三日 しか いません。 literally says (Shikoku)(Location),(Three Days)(Except)(Is not) => "I am not in Shikoku except for
three days." => (natural English) "I am only three days in Shikoku."
This explanation is much more satisfying, as you can see how Japanese expresses certain concepts differently. But most importantly, it makes sense the way they say it, it's not a "set pattern which one must memorize and take for granted." Granted, it may help not to analyze sentences during normal talking, but with enough practice, you "just understand".
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blutorange wrote: But most importantly, it makes sense the way they say it, it's not a "set pattern which one must memorize and take for granted." Granted, it may help not to analyze sentences during normal talking, but with enough practice, you "just understand".
Haha, I think I know what you mean.
Nevertheless, it IS a “set pattern which one must memorize”.
The important thing here is the difference between だけ and しか, right?
四国には二、三日だけしかいないとは限りません←too complicated to "just understand", isn't it? And I have no idea how I can explain the meaning without analyzing it using "weird rules".
And I personally think it is very helpful for lerners to know the set pattern しか～ない to avoid needless confusion.
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