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The difference between [だけ] and [しか]

In your lesson, you may have learned that "だけ" and "しか" means "only" and reflect the limitation or extent of something.


しか", on the other hand, is usually used with the negative form of a verb or adjective and can be used to indicate thoughts such as "less than expected," "I am sorry," or "I regret it."😔😨😵


Let’s look at examples!

In the three situations I am going to give you, if you were asked the question, which would you answer with?



Situation ① :The teacher asks you in the classroom, “Did you get your homework done?” Then you want to say, you have only finished half of your homework.

【だけ】「半分(はんぶん)だけ できました!」😊

This is a factual statement, indicating the extent of his "half" limitation.

【しか】「半分(はんぶん)しか できませんでした。」😢

On the other hand, the statement implies that I did less than I expected and includes such feelings like "I really could have done more" or "I should have done more". In other words, it conveys a feeling of regret because you were only able to do half as much.



Situation ② :Your friend asks you in the anime shop, “How many “Gojo” are left?” Then you check the list of the “一番(いちばん)くじ”, and you want to say, only one left.

【だけ】「1つだけ ある!」😀

This is a statement that answers the question honestly.

【しか】「1つしか ない!」😓

On the other hand, the statement also implies that Inventory was less than I expected and expresses disappointment such as, "Even if you bought a raffle ticket, you wouldn't win”.



Situation ③ :When the interviewer asks you, "What are you studying these days?" Then you want to say, you are studying only Japanese.

【だけ】「日本(にほん)だけ 行(い)った こと あるよ!」😁

This is another statement describing the fact, as noted above.

【しか】「日本(にほん)しか 行(い)った こと ない」😓

On the other hand, this sentence includes your feelings of disappointment at the current situation, where I really want to go to more countries if I could but am not able to for time or other reasons.


Thus, even though the direct translation shows the same "limited" meaning.

But you may have noticed that there are different ways of using these words.


Being able to understand the nuances they have and use them, I’m sure it will make communication in Japanese smoother.


I would be happy if you could study and learn one by one from these frequently used words.


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