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This was a big problem for me as well (in the reverse direction, that is)! In this kind of yes/no questions, the asker forms a hypothesis and then asks whether this is true. If it's true, you say yes, else no. 車持ってないの? -> 「あなたは車を持っていない」は正しい? -> 正しくない -> いいえ、もっています もう料理はいらない? -> 「あなたはもう料理はいらない」は正しい? -> ...


Since this question was asked, I've gone around and asked about a half dozen Japanese people the following question: If you ask someone 「もう食事はいらない?」 and they answer 「いいえ」, do you think they want more or not? The result: Turns out it's just as vague as English with as much individual response. Most people said you would have to know more about the ...


There might not be a clear answer to this question. In order to avoid the problem, you could always repeat the verb used in the question. For example: 車、持ってないんですか? In the case that I do have a car: ありますよ In the case I don't: ありませんね

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