795 - ~なければいけない

JLPT N4: ~なければいけない

Quick! Go review this lesson: [NDL #794] - JLPT N4: ~なければならない.

Then you can relax, since the lesson you're reading now essentially covers the same thing: Saying "must" or "have to."

The differences:

1) Instead of ~なければならない/~なければなりません, we're saying ~なければいけない/なければいけません.

So, ならない いけない.

2) While the meaning is pretty much the same (="must"), you'll find that it's especially common to use ~なければならない when talking about things that social norms demand one "must" do (a distinction of which I was unaware until I started writing this lesson).

3) ~なくてはならない and ~なくてはいけない basically mean the same thing as ~なければいけない. We'll talk about these other forms in an upcoming lesson.


Agh, all these kana combos! My head is spinning.

Let's look at an example:

もらった物は、大事にしなければいけない
もらった もの は、 だいじ に しなければいけない。
You must take (good) care of things you’ve received (as gifts).
Literally: “received + thing + は, + must value / must take care of (=important/valuable + に + must do).”

 



👷 Construction 👷

Weren't you paying attention in our last lesson?!

A refresher:

If you don't remember your ば-conditional conjugations, you should review this lesson: [NDL #736] - JLPT N4: ~ば.

You will see ~なければいけない being used with VERBS, i-adjectives, and na-adjectives and NOUNS in the following ways:

V なければいけない
i-adjective くなければいけない
na-adjective / NOUNなければいけない


Also, remember that ~なければ can morph into ~なきゃ, and the いけない part can be dropped.

Both of these changes are more common in spoken language.

Now, I think it's high time we drowned ourselves in example sentences...

 

パスワードは8字以上でなければいけません。また、誕生日や電話番号は使わないでください。
パスワード は はちじ いじょうでなければいけません。 また、 たんじょうび や でんわばんごう は つかわないで ください。
Your password must be at least eight characters. Also, please do not use things like birthdays, phone numbers, and so on.
Literally: “password + は + eight characters + at least / not less than + must be. + also, + birthday + や + phone number + は + don’t use (and) + please.”

 



ノートパソコンは軽くなきゃいけないよね。
ノートパソコン は かるくなきゃいけない よ ね。
Laptops need to be light, don’t you think?
Literally: “laptop (=notebook PC) + は + must be light (i.e. not heavy) + よ + ね.”

 



子供を迎えに行かなきゃいけないので、お先に失礼します。
こども を むかえ に いかなきゃいけない ので、 おさき に しつれい します。
I need to go pick up my kid(s), so I’ll be going now.
Literally: “children + を + must go to meet / must go pick up + because (=ので), + excuse me for leaving before you (=beforehand + に + discourtesy / impoliteness + do).”

 



料理に使う道具は清潔でなければ
りょうり に つかう どうぐ は せいけつでなければ。
Items used for cooking need to be clean.
Literally: “cooking + に + use + tools + は + must be clean.”

 



もう12時か。そろそろなきゃ
もう じゅうにじ か。 そろそろ ねなきゃ。
It’s already twelve? I need to get to bed.
Literally: “already + twelve o’clock + か. + soon + must go to sleep.”

 



Finished!

One more "must" lesson and you will be free of this tongue-twister hell you find yourself in now.

Be strong, fellow student.



Noticed any typos we've missed or other issues?
Report them here at this link.

Have questions about something in this lesson? Something not quite clicking yet? Join our discord community and discuss any questions / comments with us and fellow students.
You can join by heading to this link.