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The other day I overheard a question/reply pattern that confused me a bit. This is the scenario: something weird just happened in the street, and person A came up to a police officer. It went something like this:

Person A: 今ここで、数千人の通行人が一瞬で消えたんです!あなたの見ましたよね?!

Police Officer: 見えていない。いいから早く出ていて!

I have 2 questions about this:

  1. I don't think I ever noticed that kind of question pattern "あなたの見ましたよね". Is this common? What's up with that? I'm specifically a bit confused with the usage of の here. My guess is that it means something along the lines of "This surely is a seen event[of yours]".

  2. Person A is obviously asking if the police officer saw the event in the past. However, the police officer responds by mentioning the present. Is he actually referring to the past(i.e. "didn't see") with ている somehow, or is he basically saying "I'm not seeing anything" ? His answer seems a bit weird to me..

Thanks.

EDIT For future readers of this question, before you get confused, I misheard も as の, and 出ていって出ていけ as 出ていて(whoops)。

  • 1
    Is it possible you misheard it? Maybe it was も instead of の? – Lost Mar 29 '16 at 19:20
  • @Lost It's possible. Sometimes in fast speech it's difficult to distinguish, especially when it's also emphatic. I guess it makes much more sense. – strawberry jam Mar 29 '16 at 20:06
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1. I guess what he said was not "の" but "も".

あなたも見ましたよね
You saw it, too, didn't you?

2. I guess that police man wanted to ignore him absolutely.

In the case of common conversation:

(私はそれを)見なかった。[何]{なに}があった?
I didn't see it. What's happened?

In the case of 見ていない and 見えていない, police man will not ask him at all.

(私はなにも)見えていない。早く出ていって!
I can't see anything. Get out at once!

That is to say, police man wanted to ignore time also.
(私はなにも)見えていない。→(私は[過去]{かこ}も[今]{いま}も、なにも)見えていない。
This police man deny all of his claims.

  • 1
    Makes sense. Thanks for the answer. I didn't even notice it was 出ていって and not 出ていて...thinking about it now, 出ていて doesn't even make any sense. Well, I got some work to do on my listening skills. – strawberry jam Mar 29 '16 at 20:18
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    @strawberryjam He actually says 「見ていない。いいから早く出ていけ」 :-) – snailboat Mar 29 '16 at 21:17
  • @snailboat Oh my. You're right. Now I -really- got some work to do on my listening skills. Not too sure about 見ていない/見えていない though. What would make one choose one over the other in this particular situation? Perhaps 見えていない is a bit more severe in nuance(when you're being aggressive)? Throwing a guess, sounds a bit like it. – strawberry jam Mar 30 '16 at 16:17
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    The 見ていない here means "I haven't seen" "I didn't see" (close to 見なかった). As you may know 「~ている」「~ていない」(progressive form) can mean "have (already) done~" "haven't done (yet)" besides "is doing (now)" "isn't doing (now)". Here the other person asked "見ましたよね" (You saw it, didn't you?) so the police officer replied "見ていない". If it had been "見ましたよね" (You could see it, couldn't you?) then he might have replied "見ていない" or "見なかった" (I haven't been able to see / I couldn't see). – Chocolate Mar 30 '16 at 16:58

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