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<< naikotohanai | naimademo >>

ないことには [ないことには] (naikotoniha)
    Meaning: if (it's) not; unless
    Example: It won't sell if it's not interesting.
    JLPT Level: 2
    Category: grammar
    Author: dc

  [ Edit This Grammar Entry ]
literal translation
naikoto = not thing
niha = if

so a literal translation might be:
if (not A), then B won't happen (either)
「AないことにはB(ない)」: A is a requirement in order to do B.

Vない + ことには
いA(minus い) + くないことには
なA・N + でないことには

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ex #259   「人間は意味のないことには耐えられない」と言ったのは、フランスの哲学者のサルトルだったでしょうか。  
Was it possibly the french philosopher Satre who said "People cannot endure things of no meaning" ?  
ex #5253   誰かに聞かないことには難しい問題にいつも答えることができません。 
If you don't ask someone, then you definitely will not get the answer of a difficult question.  
ex #5258   自分に関わりのないことには口を出すな。 
Don't interfere in matters that do not concern you.  
ex #5948   その食べ物を食べてみないことには好きかどうかわからない。 
If you don't try eating some of this food then you wont know whether or not you like it.  
ex #6296   住所がわからないことには、連絡しようがありません。  
We can't contact them unless we know the address.  
ex #6297   小説を書いても、おもしろくないことには売れませんよ。  
Although you wrote a novel, it won't sell if it's not interesting.  
ex #6298   何といっても、健康が一番。いくら有能でも、健康でないことには活躍できない。 
No matter what you say, health is most important. No matter how capable you are, you cannot fluorish unless you have your health.  
ex #6932   頑張らないことには今度の試験に合格できないよ 
If you don't try, you can't pass this exam.  
ex #6934   もっと付き合わないことには、彼が実際どんな人かは分からない。 
Unless I date him for a little longer, I will never know what kind of person he really is.  
ex #6935   どんな人か、実際あってみないことには、よくわからない。 
This kind of people, if you don't really try to meet them, you won't understand them well.  
ex #6936   一度行ってみないことには、どんな所かわからないだろう。 
If you don't try to get there once, perhaps you won't understand the kind of place it is.  
ex #6937   今までにない型の伝染病が各地に広がっている。くわしい調査をしないことには、政府も対策がたてられない。 
A kind of contagious disease never seen before is spreading out in various places. If it isn't investigated accurately, even the government won't be able to take prevention measures.  
ex #6938   文章を書くということは、何かを表現することであり、自分は何を表現したいのか、それをはっきりさせないことには、何も書けない。 
Concerning composition writing, when you mean to express something, in the case it is something personal that you want to express, unless you make it very clear, you can't write anything.  
ex #8585   寮が立派でないことには、寮費は高くない。 
dormitory if not majestic, it will cost is not expensive  

Help JGram by picking and editing examples!!
  See Also:  
    [ Add a See Also ]
    halxObviously always followed by a negated second sentence part. 
    Miki#5253 I think this is better.
    ex#259 and ex#5253 , is のない+こと+には, so i think it doesn't belong to this entry.
    〜ないことには...〜ない : 〜しなければ...〜できない
    赤毛I fixed ex #5253 according to Mikiさん alert.
    In ex#6298 I dont understand 有狽ナ, so instead of "Great ex!" I changed it to "suspicious"...
    karekanoI`ve changed 有狽ナ to 有能で but I don't know if it is correct, so it is still "suspicious". 
    DrJonesSome of those examples do not reflect the meaning of this grammar point as a single block, but that of the separate particles "nai + koto + ni wa" which mean "at/to the matters/things that do not...". I think they are bad examples, so I will mark them as suspicious. 

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