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Context: Two friends had a spar and one of them beats the other one. The following conversation then happens

「お前、ちょっとは手加減しろよ」

「俺とお前の腕に大した差はないよ」

「なんかムカつくな」

My question is to what is the cause of this emotion. Is it due to the way the speaker spoke as if they had little difference in skill (even though it was a relatively quick and easy win), is it just a general phrase to express annoyance at his loss with nothing specific in mind?

  • I would say your first interpretation is correct, although I can't exactly explain why. – Yosh Jun 16 '15 at 1:44
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「俺とお前の腕に大した差はないよ」というのは、つまり「俺とおまえの腕には、差がある。」ということだからです。「大した差は、ない。」は、「少しは、差がある。」「俺のほうが腕が上だ。/ 俺のほうが強い。」ということを前提として(当たり前のこととして)言っていることになるので、こう言われると、普通、ムカつくと思います。

Because 「俺とお前の腕に大した差はないよ」 means/implies there is difference. This is like "(I'm stronger/better than you, but) the difference in our skills is not so big (that I have to do 手加減)."

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「お前、ちょっとは手加減しろよ」

「俺とお前の腕に大した差はないよ」

「なんかムカつくな」

It depends though. This is usually stated out of arrogance or disgust of the speaker (with regards to skill in this context).

In this case, the speaker expected a more challenging fight, but he got rather disappointed.

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