JLPT N1 Grammar Points:〜ずにはおかない・〜ずにはいられない・ないではいられない・ざるを得ない

Today’s grammar point is a long one. Here are 5 expressions that all have slightly similar meanings and usages yet are all a little difference in terms of nuance and formality.

The general idea is expressing “can’t help doing” or “can’t just do” something.

Happy studying!


  • expresses a strong will
  • ~ will definitely happen

Employee: The group leader is one who always makes everything black and white, so he can’t be flexible.

I think it was tragic to lose again by penalty kick shootout. The team strongly swears to repay this debt at the next game.


  • just had to ~/ couldn’t help but ~
  • action from feeling that can’t be contained
  • formal

The cake I tried at the department store was so good, I couldn’t help buying it.


  • feeling cannot be contained
  • cannot put up with something

She just can’t help talking about her grandchildren.

The homeroom teacher can’t help but complain about every little thing the students do.


  • not doing ~ is unforgivable (according to societal norms)
  • “you can’t just ~”


A: I don’t really feel like working for that company anymore.
B: What an irresponsible thing to say. You already signed a contract, so you can’t just say “I don’t want to work anymore.”


  • must do ~ unwillingly
  • ~ is necessary due to the circumstances


A: Did you make the last train last night?
B: No, I missed it. And I couldn’t catch a taxi, so I had no choice but to walk home.


A:I heard you are the project leader this time?
B:Yeah, I had no choice but to do it. I really don’t want to.


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