No other option, だけしか

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Note: This article was created with the assistance of Generative AI as an experiment.

Mastering the Japanese Particle だけしか: A Comprehensive Guide


Learning Japanese can be both fascinating and challenging, especially when it comes to mastering particles, which play a crucial role in sentence structure and meaning. One such particle that often perplexes learners is だけしか. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of だけしか and demonstrate its usage using example sentences.

Understanding だけしか

だけしか is a combination of two particles: だけ and しか. To comprehend its usage fully, let’s break it down:

  1. だけ: This particle translates to “only” or “just.” It is used to emphasize the exclusivity or limitation of a quantity or action.

  2. しか: This particle conveys restriction or limitation. It is often used in negative sentences and suggests that there is no alternative to the limited option presented.

Combining these two particles, だけしか creates a powerful structure that emphasizes the extreme limitation of an action or quantity and implies that there are no other options or alternatives.

Using だけしか in Example Sentences

Now, let’s analyze example sentences that illustrate the usage of だけしか:

  1. 彼はアレルギーがあるため、食べられるものはりんごだけしかありません。 Translation: Due to his allergies, he can only eat apples.

  2. 私の部屋には本が本棚に一冊だけしかありません。 Translation: In my room, there is only one book on the bookshelf.

  3. 昨日の試験で、正しい答えは一つだけしか書けませんでした。 Translation: In yesterday’s exam, I could write down only one correct answer.

  4. この店では、ピザが売られていて、他に何も食べるものはありません。だから、ピザだけしか食べる選択肢がありません。 Translation: In this shop, they sell pizza, and there is nothing else to eat. Therefore, the only option is to eat pizza.

  5. 電車の中で、私はスマートフォンだけしか使わないようにしています。 Translation: While on the train, I make sure to use only my smartphone.


Understanding and using the particle だけしか is essential for conveying limitations and emphasizing exclusivity in Japanese sentences. In the example sentences provided, it helped convey various situations where there were no other options but the limited ones specified by だけしか. Incorporating this particle into your language skills will undoubtedly enhance your ability to express complex ideas and situations in Japanese conversation.