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お前に私が殺せると思ってるのか?

I'm not sure about this phrase. Is correct "お前に" or it's better "お前を". Is object or agent? And which person is correct for 思ってる? "お前" or "私"

It's a line from a comic I'm trying to translate and there is a person who attack another and the other after avoiding the attack says this phrase. I translated (probably wrong, I know) both:

"Do you think to kill me?" (I think it's wrong) "I'm thinking to kill you, do you know?" (I'm not sure how to translate "のか?")

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1 Answer 1

"You think you can kill me?"

Firstly you should note (since it's not in your translations) that 殺せる is "can kill" / "to be able to kill" (this is the ~える godan potential form).

With potential constructions and certain verbs like 見える and 分かる, the thing that we would think of as the object in English is often marked by が instead in Japanese. What would be the subject is then marked with に.

私にはもう高い周波数の音が聞こえない。
I can't hear high frequencies any more.
( -- space alc - 英辞郎)

(I think "High-frequency sounds do not render (themselves) audible to me." might be somewhat close to the grammar of the Japanese...?)

Potentials work the same way, so the に in

お前に私が殺せると思ってるのか?

is referring to the person who is able / not able to do 殺す.

The subject of 思ってる is also "you", but that is not explicitly mentioned in the sentence (i.e. this お前 noun is not the explicit subject of 思ってる).

In general it'd be a bit unusual for 私 to be the subject of 「思ってるのか?」 unless you're talking to yourself...


This isn't the only way to use particles with these verbs... the normal form of が and を is also possible as far as I know... that's probably best kept for another question (or perhaps it has already been covered).

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Thank you >_< now I undesrtood better! –  kymyit Dec 11 '13 at 18:23
    
Hmm, downvote? Anyone want to explain what I got wrong? :x –  Hyperworm Dec 12 '13 at 15:13
    
( Or write an answer of their own :) ) –  Hyperworm Dec 12 '13 at 15:21

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