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I was wondering about the translation of this sentence: (一人くらいは来てくれるんじゃないかな...) What I see is a double negative and a question. Does someone know if the double negative and question are used to save face, in a sense, from the speaker, or am I missing something really obvious...

来てくれるん - first negative. じゃない - second negative.

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    Maybe it'll help if you explained where the first and second negatives are.
    – Flaw
    Aug 12, 2016 at 18:07
  • There is a ん that makes a verb negative, but it's in the same place as ない; in other words, if this were the ~ん negative, it would be 来てくれん. (Other examples: 飲まん, 食べん, 分からん.)
    – Angelos
    Aug 13, 2016 at 4:20
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    来てくれるん is contraction of 来てくれるの and it's not negative.
    – user4092
    Aug 13, 2016 at 7:18

2 Answers 2

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In general I think it's correct to say double negative and question are used to save face but I'm not sure if this sentence is double negative.

The expression 来てくれるん is not a negative sentence and also the expression ~じゃない? does use the negative form but is not really a negative sentence either and is more like a question.

For example, something similar in English may be

Isn't it cold?

Japanese translation would be

寒{さむ}くない?

The expression ~んじゃない? is used to say something with some assumptions and also kind of asking for agreement from the listener just like the example above.

Some examples are:

今日は雨がふるんじゃない?

(You see dark clouds) Don't you think it's going to rain?

A: あ!財布{さいふ}がない!

B: レストランに 忘れたんじゃない?

(You saw your friend use her/his wallet at the restaurant) Maybe you left it at the restaurant?

~かな... is used to make it not sound like pushy when stating your opinion. I think it's because it sounds like you are stating your opinion as if you are asking it to yourself or talking to yourself. It's like hmm I think.

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  • I know that じゃない is used as a question but the sentence already ends with a かな, and doesn't the ん after 来てくれる make it a negative verb? Aug 12, 2016 at 18:18
  • I've edited my answer and added some examples. Hope it helps.
    – kabichan
    Aug 12, 2016 at 18:35
  • Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks for the help. Aug 12, 2016 at 19:48
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"来てくれるんじゃないか" is same with "来てくれるのではないか", hence it is not negative.

"ではないか(な)" such as "来るのではないか" is thinking/guessing/suspecting a possibility. The sentence means that the talker thinks (or expects) there is a possibility that at least one may come. I believe face(shame or pride) is not related here.

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