Ok, so this phrase is a perfect example of how Nihongo can be so beautiful, and yet so intimidating. I want to understand the logic behing phrases like this one now, at the beginning, so I can better command the language when I am able to use it fluently. Inflections of this phrase include
なければならない, なければなりません, なければいけない, ねばならぬ, ねばならない, ねばなりません, なければならぬ, なけばならない
I've become comfortable with the difference between ない and なりません, but I'm completely unfamiliar with ね and ぬ, which can apperantly replace the first and final portions of the phrase, ねばならぬ. That's ぬ. Also, this phrase replaces the standard negative inflection of other words changing it's meaning from a negative to a necessity.
は 線路 。
Porters often have to walk across the lines.
Could this also be written
は 線路 ?
I find this very puzzling. Maybe there's a root word that ばなら derives from, as it seems to tie all the inflections together. How many phrases are like this in the language?
When you were learning Nihongo in school, did you learn to use all of these inflections, or do you even come across them in daily use? In general for this kind of phrase, is there maybe one main usage for polite speaking and one main usage for informal?
You guys rock, thanks for the help, and all your hard work! Couldn't imagine wading through all this alone....