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Grammar detail: ないわけにはいかない

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JLPT:
ないわけにはいかない - can't very well not do; have to do
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When わけにはいかない follows a negative clause, as we would expect 'can't very well ~' now becomes 'can't very well not ~'. In English a more natural way of saying 'can't very well not' would often be 'have to do' or 'must do'.
あんなにそうなを、かないわけにはいかない。
I can't very well not go and see such an interesting-sounding movie.
なに
やらないわけにはいかない
You can't just do nothing.
'Have to do' or 'must do' are also how two other expressions 'しなければなりません' and 'しなくてはいけません' might be translated. However, where those expressions imply a legal or formal requirement to do something, わけにはいかない implies more of a sense of 'moral' obligation. For example, if a worker made an error, the manager may well say:
らないわけにはいかない
I can't very well not get angry. I can't very well let this go.
However, the manager would be unlikely to use one of the other expressions, such as らなければならない, because that would mean 'I must get angry (according to the rule book).'
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See also:
  • わけ - reason
  • わけにはいかない - can't very well do

Kanji used in this grammar

メン   おもて mask, features, surface   おも surface   つら face   
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ハク   ビャク   しろ white   しろ    しら-    
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エイ   はえる to shine   うつ to be reflected   うつ to reflect, project   
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2
ガ   カク   draw
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2
ケン   み to see   みえる to be seen; to appear   みせる to show   
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1
コウ   ギョウ   アン   ゆ    い to go   おこな to take place   
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ブ   part
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3
カ   ゲ   した below, under   しも bottom part   もと under (influence)   さげる to lower, to reduce   さがる to be lowered   くだ to descend   くだ to judge   くださる to give   おろす to drop off (passenger)   おりる to get off (train)   
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ド   angry   おこ    いか to be angry   
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3
カ   なに    なん what?   
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