A teacher was too nice, lost control of her class and then slapped one of them. Another teacher is trying to comfort her:

Because I also spoil them too much the children learnt a lesson, didn't they?

I always get confused with endings like んじゃないでしょうか. My translation makes no sense. I assume he is saying that the kids didn't learn a lesson because he spoils them too much, but I don't see how this can mean that they didn't learn a lesson.

What is the actual meaning of this sentence and how do I parse it correctly?

3 Answers 3


Your translation of いいクスリになったんじゃないでしょうか seems perfect to me. It does say "the children learnt a lesson, didn't they?"

I agree that the first half of the sentence does not serve as the direct reason for what's said in the last half, but this sentence would make sense if you understand the context. This だから was used referring to something shared by the two teachers but unsaid in this sentence — being too nice is not good, and sometimes children need to be physically disciplined.

You can interpret this sentence like this:

(As a teacher, being too nice is a bad thing. But) I also tend to spoil them too much. Therefore, I think the children learnt a (necessary and valuable) lesson (from you).


I hope I'm not wrong on this one but I think the sentence goes different:


I'm also too soft with them so, I think it was a good lesson for them(the kids), right?

We can rephrase the last part with only:


I think it was a good lesson for them(the kids), right?

But adding でしょうか adds the fact that the speaker is expressing that said thing is only her opinion(and may differ from the reality or other people's opinions).

So the sentence is maybe interpreted like:


I'm also too soft with them so I'm wondering "I think it was a good lesson for them, right?".


I concur with naruto and Ruri, but would like to contribute a slightly different, very much less than literal translation:

I'm too soft with them, too, but I think you did them a favor.

What the second teacher is saying is that, in effect, the first teacher taught the children a valuable lesson by slapping one of them, and he admires her for it because it's something he hasn't mustered the guts to do. To rehash what naruto said, the second teacher is simply omitting the part about slapping, because the context makes it clear.

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