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I am struggling with the meaning of this sentence:

「いい人そうな方ですが…いい人なだけに…ね」

(Context: Two students are walking down the hallway and are casually talking to each other, while a guard person or something mistakes them for making out and scolds them for that. After the guard introduces himself, one of the students says the sentence above.)

Consindering this: Meaning of "だけに" Could it mean: Because X is a good person, X is said to be a good person? (If X would not be a good person X would not be said to be a good person)

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    This link may be related, but I still can't work out the meaning: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/15039/… Mar 8 '20 at 14:30
  • I initially put that link into my question as well, but I somehow got the feeling that it is not the same pattern here...
    – Himula
    Mar 8 '20 at 14:46
  • (To extent on the context: The reaction of the "guard" seemed to be way over the top and he says it is his work to keep the students' proper behavior) I think that the pattern linked in the question and explained in the video (in the original question) is more similar than the one in japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/15039/…; however, the word order does not "quite fit" with this one as well.
    – Himula
    Mar 8 '20 at 14:52
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Yes this ~だけに means "exactly because ~", "~, and for that very reason", etc.

いい人そうな方ですが…
He seems nice/honest/earnest, however...

いい人なだけに…
it's such a person who...
exactly because he is an "honest" person...


you know (what I mean).

So instead of explicitly saying the last part of the sentence, this person said ね, which is working like "you know what I mean". The implied message completely depends on the context. From the provided context it should be something negative like "he ended up taking his job too seriously", "he is honest to a fault", or "he is too naive".

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  • Where is the な coming from, given 人 is not a 形容動詞?
    – Sam
    Jun 16 at 20:13
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    @Sam The latter half of this is related. だけ can take any attributive form, and な is the attributive form of the copula だ. In stiff speech いい人であるだけに is better.
    – naruto
    Jun 16 at 23:22
  • Ah, I had seen posts talk about 'attributive な' before, good to finally know how/when it works. Thanks!
    – Sam
    Jun 17 at 16:21

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