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So, i have met this phrase

私があの子を救ってあげなければ、誰が救うと言うのですか?

Now, with a quick glance, my brain translated it as something like "if i haven't saved her, who would have done that?".

However giving it another look, i can see that it probably means something closer to "if i don't save her, who would do that?" because that kind of conditional (救ってあげなければ) can't be used for past actions, so it's something that the speaker has yet to do i guess. (correct me if im wrong, but i think the only way to make a past conditional is by using ーたら, right?)

But there's something else that's been bothering me in this phrase: the ending. What does と言うの means here exactly? Some people explained it to me by using a raw translation (ex: can you name a person that would save her, except me?" but i still can't comprehend it fully.

marked as duplicate by Chocolate grammar Jul 12 '18 at 16:39

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言う means "speak" or "say", so a natural way of translating this would be, "If I don't save her, who are you saying would?" or "If I don't save her, tell me who (the hell) would?"

  • Thank you very much for your reply: that was a clear explaination, more than the one i got i'd say. I don't know if it's allowed to ask for this in the comments but, may i ask if you could provide me another example of this usage of と言うの? Im writing the whole thing and i would appreciate more examples to keep in mind – ABC DFG Jul 12 '18 at 13:33
  • ...hmmm... well, just imagine any sentence containing the phrase "are you saying" or "tell me", and chances are high that you could translate it with と言うの? in a way that makes sense.... "Are you saying we don't have a chance?" 私たちにチャンスがないと言っていますか? (言っていますか is a more formal version of 言うのですか) ... etc. – ericfromabeno Jul 12 '18 at 14:15

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