I studied that when there is a verb in negative form plus かなあ it means "I desire that", like in: 早く始まらないかなあ。

But, I came across this sentence: "見ないでくれないかなあ", which apparently means "I don't want you to see it". The problem is that I don't understand all these negative forms one after another, could somebody shed more light on this matter?

1 Answer 1




Would you mind not looking?

In parts:

  • 見ないで "not look" (i.e. "refrain from looking")

  • くれない "wouldn't you" (do it for me)

  • かなあ makes it a question; something akin to "I wonder if"

  • 3
    In this case, I would say that かなあ functions more as a 'softener', making it more like a polite request rather than an actual question.
    – kandyman
    Oct 16, 2019 at 13:38
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    @kandyman This is what I meant by giving an example "I wonder if" and the translation "would you mind" - these expressions act as softeners in English, don't they? The former uses a question-form in the relative clause, the latter turns the form of the whole English sentence into a question, although neither does demand an answer. So I don't think it is a mistake to claim か(なあ) works similarly.
    – Kasumi
    Oct 16, 2019 at 17:13
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    @Kasumi, whether those act as softeners or not in English I think is largely dependent on the intonation you use. I can imagine "Would you mind not looking?", sounding extremely curt, just like plain 見ないでくれないかな?would tend to sound.
    – sbkgs4686
    Oct 16, 2019 at 23:38

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