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Grammar detail: しか + verb negative plain form

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JLPT:
しか + verb negative plain form - nothing but
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Placed after a noun phrase, しか + verb negative plain form means 'nothing but', 'only' or 'as few as'.
This form can be confusing, because the negative verb required by しか becomes positive in English.
Verb いる:
わたし
しかいない
There's only me here.
Verb ある:
おまえ
かね
しかない
You've got nothing but money.
うち
ちい
さな
にわ
しかない
We have only a small garden.
Verb する:
さん
ねん
しか
べんきょう
勉強
してない
のに
にほんご
日本語
じょうず
上手
です
For only three years of studying, your Japanese is great!
In this sentence, the standard negative progressive form of する (していない, 'is not doing') has been contracted to してない. This is common in casual / colloquial speech.
Other verbs:
かれ
じぶん
自分
こと
しか
かんが
えていません

They only think of themselves.
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See also:
  • だけ - only
  • difference between だけ and しか

Kanji used in this grammar

シ   わたくし    わたし I, myself   
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キン   コン   かね gold; money   
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1
ショウ   こ-    お-    ちいさい small   
1
テイ   にわ courtyard, garden   
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3
ネン   とし year   
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1
ベン    exertion   
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2
キョウ   ゴウ   つよ strong   つよまる to get stronger   つよめる to strengthen   しいる to compel, to force   
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2
ニチ   ジツ   sun; day   ひ    -か    
1
ホン   book   もと origin   
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1
ゴ   かた to talk, relate   かたらう to talk together, chat   
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1
ジョウ   ショウ   うえ above   うわ- above   あげる to raise   あがる to rise   かみ first half, upper part   のぼ to climb   のぼせる to bring up, to raise   のぼ to bring up   
1
シュ   hand   て    た-    
2
ヒ   かれ he   
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3
ジ   シ   みずか self   
2
ブン   ブ   フン   わける to divide, to distinguish   わかる to understand   わかれる to be divided   わかつ to share, distribute   
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1
ジ   ズ   こと thing; matter   
2
コウ   かんがえる to think about, consider   
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2
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