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I came across the following expression:

あなたにはなにも引っ掛けてもらえなかった

I traced it back here, and I loosely understand that this means that あなた (the character who is being spoken to) has been ignoring the character who is speaking.

I'm having trouble parsing how 引っ掛ける is used in this case, however. Why is the particle に(も) used instead of は or が? What does snot (if I understood that bit correctly in the page I linked to) have to do with ignoring somebody?

  • Sorry, I had an answer that I am now unsure about and might be a misreading so I've deleted it. – BJCUAI Feb 27 at 7:40
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「あなたにはなにも引{ひ}っ掛{か}けてもらえなかった。」

Even though the vast majority of Japanese-speakers would understand this sentence with no problems (as I myself did some days ago), I am going to say today that it contains a mistake - a grammar one.

As 日本国語大辞典 says:

「鼻{はな}引っ掛けない」 is an idiomatic expression meaning 「相手{あいて}にしない」、「無視{むし}する」, etc. That is "to ignore (completely)" in English.

Note that 「鼻」 in this expression refers to "nazal discharge" and not "nose".

「も」 here is for emphasis, so it can naturally be replaced by 「さえも」. ← I will come back to this as it is rather important.

「引っ掛ける」 is only a "rough" version of 「掛ける」, which means "to spray", "to splash", etc. in this context.

Thus, the super-literal meanng of the sentence in question is:

"I was not even given the pleasure of getting your nazal discharge sprayed on me."

To make that simpler and less masochistic, the more ordinary translation would be "You ignored me completely!" or "I was ignored completely by you!" as I stated above.

Now, what is the mistake in the sentence in question, then? I would say it is the use of 「に」 in 「はなにも」. As I said, the 「も」 alone functions as an emphasizer here. The nazal discharge itself is not receiving an action, so there should not be that 「に」 there.

Finally, I must also add that, in using a 「に」, another idiomatic expression that contains 「鼻」 might have crossed the speaker's mind. That expression is:

「鼻かける」

It means "to brag about", "to boast", etc. and it actually uses a 「に」.

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