I'm having a little problem with some dialogue between two characters and I'm not sure about something. These are the lines in the dialogue:

Character A: あの時の事は謝る。。。説明もするし。。。

Character B: 別に謝れとは言ってない。

My first interpretation of B's line is "I didn't say (to you) to apologize.", but I'm not sure, so I could use the help. Thank you in advance!


Character A: あの時{とき}の事{こと}は謝{あやま}る。。。説明{せつめい}もするし。。。

Character B: 別{べつ}に謝れとは言{い}ってない。

Your initial interpretation was correct.


≒ 別に「謝れ」とは言ってない。

≒ オレは別に「謝れ」とは言ってない。

≒ オレは別にお前に「謝れ」とは言ってない。 

B has not and is not soon going to ask A to apologize. The grammatical subject of the verb phrase 「言ってない」 is the unmentioned first-person (= B).

Unless the larger context proves otherwise (which I highly doubt it will), no other explanation would be possible or very natural.

  • Thank you! So I wasn't far off, but I I probably made things harder for myself. One more thing, because I wasn't taught this properly and I mostly just picked it up trough studying by myself, but still not having a good grasp on it. Usually if a sentence with a ている verb , such as 言っている, but in this case 言ってない, would it mean I didn't say? As in I'm the grammatical subject? Can I not say for example "He/She didn't/hasn't said.? Sorry if I didn't explain well... Jan 9 '20 at 12:59
  • Who the unmentioned subject is depends entirely on the context. If one is talk purely about the probability, which I am uncertain is a good thing to do, the unmentioned subject being the speaker would be the most probable case. The verb being affirmative or negative has nothing to do with this. Not even sure this is what you wanted to ask about. Jan 9 '20 at 14:58
  • Thank you for all your input! It was helpful! Jan 9 '20 at 16:52

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