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..


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
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 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. Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


1. I guess what he said was not "の" but "も".

You saw it, too, didn't you?

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

In the case of common conversation:

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.

I can't see anything. Get out at once!

That is to say, police man wanted to ignore time also.
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. Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 20:18
  • 3
    @strawberryjam He actually says 「見ていない。いいから早く出ていけ」 :-)
    – user1478
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 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. Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 16:17
  • 2
    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
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 16:58

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