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In the light novel that I'm reading, there is a part where the protagonist is trapped in the arms of his sleeping friend. Since the protagonist is a boy and his friend is a girl, the situation is rather dangerous. These are his words:

「ダメ、絶対に逃がさないんだから」

Here is my translation for this sentence:

This is bad, because I absolutely cannot set (something) free...

I know that the real meaning should have the reversed meaning for the verb

This is bad, because I absolutely cannot escape...

I based my translation on these three clues:

  1. オレは is the implied topic, or the protagonist. I mean, he's been using himself as the topic in the other sentences (オレは...オレは...オレは...).
  2. There is no direct object, since I did not see an explicit オレを in the sentence.
  3. According to my dictionary, 逃がす translates as "to set free, to give away". The verb itself is in the plain form negative and not passive. So he's the one responsible for setting free or giving away, not escaping.

Edit: The answer to the question was number 4. The girl wasn't sleep talking, she was awake and having fun. She's the one responsible for this line.

  • Considering the form is 逃がさない (won't) rather than 逃がせない (can't), I think the translation is more like, "It's no good, she definitely won't let me go..." – Eric Apr 5 '15 at 5:16
  • I like that, but is it possible to imply the girl as the topic? I'll include the previous line for context. – MingShun Apr 5 '15 at 5:19
  • IMO the subject is implied because she is the only one in the scenario who is holding onto anything (and is capable of letting something go). But it does seem that the second sentence there (しかし、彼女は・・・) does imply that the girl is a topic of conversation. – Eric Apr 5 '15 at 5:22
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    You're probably right. I'm starting to realize that wa and ga aren't actually subject markers. I must have been lucky to have it go so well in the first place. Maybe because I was primarily translating description and not dialogue. Anyway, I'll look around for more examples. – MingShun Apr 5 '15 at 5:31
  • は can't be a subject marker―it attaches to all sorts of other stuff :-) – snailboat Apr 5 '15 at 14:30
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Are you sure it's said by the boy?
「ダメ、絶対に逃がさないんだから」sounds pretty feminine.
"No, (you can't escape). I'll never let you go."

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    Yes, he's the only one that's awake. – MingShun Apr 5 '15 at 6:32
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    Isn't it her 彼女の蠱惑的な声音? – Micky Apr 5 '15 at 6:34
  • Looking at the manga, you're probably right actually. So the answer would be number 4, the girl is awake and having fun. – MingShun Apr 5 '15 at 7:07
  • Points for translating ダメ as "no" here. It's such a natural fit in most situations and yet it gets slavishly translated to "no good" so often. – Stephan Apr 5 '15 at 11:10

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