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どうせ誰もいはしないと高をくくっていたところもある。

This one's throwing me for a bit of a loop. The translation says "He also didn't really take the possibility of anyone being there seriously."

It makes sense to me except for the いはしない part. What does this mean?

I looked up い and saw that it can mean stomach, so my first thought was that いはしない was perhaps some idiom like "not doing his stomach" that means "not being there" but I can't find any evidence to justify that on the internet so I have to assume it's wrong.

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「Verb in 連用形{れんようけい}(continuative form) +は + しない」

= "would not (verb)" ← rather emphatic

「い」 is the 連用形 of the verb 「いる」.

「誰{だれ}もいはしない」, therefore, means "no one would be (there)"

You will encounter this grammar pattern over and over.

  • Thanks, are you aware of anywhere I can read more about this? I'm searching for "stem + はする" and such but unfortunately not turning up much. – Aurast Jul 16 '15 at 1:07
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    @user21871 We have some previous questions that touch on this topic, which I just retagged: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/… – snailcar Jul 16 '15 at 2:19

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