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I am trying to understand this sentence:

君{きみ}は逃{に}げなくてもいいのかな~

But having some trouble working out what the second half means.

君{きみ} - you; buddy; pal​

逃{に}げる - to escape; to run away​

Where 逃げる is given in the negative form (to not run away).

I am struggling to understand:

  1. Can ても be translate to but? If so, what role does the beore it play? Or am I not splitting that up correctly?

  2. I suspect いいのかな to mean "I wonder if it is good"

So the best I can come up with is

You are not running away, but I wonder if that is good?

Another thought I had was is にげなくて negative form of 逃げる, in which case would translate to also giving

You do not also run away (like the others), I wonder if that is good?

Would really appreciate any advice or pointers!

3

It looks like you are paying a little too much attention to every part of the sentence. That, of course, is generally a good habit, but in this particular case, it is only misleading you into thinking that the sentence is far more complicated than it actually is.

「Verb in 連用形{れんようけい} (continuative form) + なくて(も)いい」

is an extremely common set phrase meaning:

"one does not have/need to (verb)."

Likewise, the affirmative form:

「Verb in 連用形{れんようけい} (continuative form) + て(も)いい」

means:

"one can (verb) if one wants to"

It means that one has that option if one so desires.

「逃げ」 is the 連用形 of 「逃げる」.

「~~なくて(も)いい」

by itself, already means "okay without ~~".

  1. Can ても be translate to "but"? If so, what role does the く beore it play? Or am I not splitting that up correctly?

No, it cannot. Seems you are confusing 「ても」 and 「でも」. Only the latter can mean "but".

Again, 「なく」 is the 連用形 of the subsidiary verb 「ない」. 連用形 is so important that you could not really say anything meaningful without using it.

  1. I suspect いいのかな to mean "I wonder if it is good"

Precisely!

My own TL:

"I wonder if you don't have to run away."

Notice I did not use "I wnder if it is good" because that is already implied in my TL.

  • Thanks so much l'électeur, now I know exactly what I need to google (なくてもいい) to read further – Bassie Nov 18 '17 at 7:54
  • One translation I found of this sentence read "Are you sure you don't want to run away", which seems different to me (and I couldn't get to that translation by myself so I wasn't sure about it) would you say that is incorrect, or is it just the way that would be said in Japanese? – Bassie Nov 18 '17 at 8:00
  • Are you sure 逃げ here is 連用形? Isn't it 未然形? If it were 「Verb in 連用形 + なくて(も)いい」then you would say 言いなくても instead of 言わなくても. – Sweeper Nov 18 '17 at 17:40
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I just want to add that the translation you mentioned in the comments “Are you sure you don’t want to run away?” is an appropriate translation of this phrase if the context calls for it. My first impression of the sentence was that it was from a situation like that, like a predator playing with its prey.

  • Thanks skauert, that is the exact context (S1E1 of One Punch Man - CrabMan asks OPM 君は逃げなくてもいいのかな~) It's confusing to me as a beginner, because the literal translation actually seems to mean something altogether different to Are you sure you don't wan to run away, yet I'm sure Japanese as a language could express that exact meaning as well.. – Bassie Nov 18 '17 at 21:39

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