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I came across this expression in my JPLT N2 study materials.

I deciphered the parts as

可哀想{かわいそう} means pitiable, pathetic でならない means can't help feeling

so does it mean "can't help feeling pathetic"? How is this used in context? Does it mean "I feel very pathetic" or when I look at someone or something, I'm thinking "that person/thing looks so very pathetic"?

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1 Answer 1

ならない does not mean 'can't help'. It means 'cannot stand'.

彼{かれ}が可哀想{かわいそう}でならない
'WIth him being pitiable/pathetic, I cannot stand.'

Similar expression are たまらない.

彼が可哀想でたまらない
彼が可哀想でしかたがない
'With him being pitiable/pathetic, I cannot stand.'

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@DavidMorrissey Does it give any examples? Without it, I cannot tell what it is mentioning. –  sawa Oct 19 '11 at 4:54
    
@DavidMorrissey In that case, なくてはならない means 'must', and the ならない part means 'doesn't go'. I don't see clear connections to the meanings you mentioned. –  sawa Oct 19 '11 at 5:18
    
@DavidMorrissey I don't care about JMDict. You should take the full responsibility of what you submit there. 納得いかない does not mean 'I can't stand'. It means 'I don't admit' or 'I am not convinced'. –  sawa Oct 19 '11 at 6:57

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