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Hello I was doing some translating and got stumped over how to translate this phrase. Does it mean something like "It makes me wanna pamper you" or does it mean something like "It makes me wanna take care of you"? The full context of the sentence would be "いじめて、泣かせて、可愛がりたくなんだよ”

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    Please include the broader context in your question. 可愛がる is a tricky word that has several meanings, and it's difficult to determine the correct one without knowing who the speaker is and who he is talking about.
    – naruto
    Apr 4, 2020 at 8:24
  • Sorry for being confusing. The speaker and the addressed person has quite a strained relationship in general and I was confused as to how to translate it into English without sounding weird. Thank you for the link you provided, it answered my queries. Apr 4, 2020 at 8:35

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As you can see on jisho.org's entry, 可愛がる has two different meanings, "to love/cherish/dote" and "to haze/beat/torment". The former is the basic meaning, and the latter is a derivative slangy meaning used by gangs, delinquent youths, sport players and such. For example, if a yakuza said 可愛がってやれ, it probably means he wants his men to beat up someone. This article should help, too:

I suppose 可愛がる is used in the derivative sense in your sentence, too, but it ultimately depends on the context and relationship between the two people. I won't be surprised if the speaker actually likes the other person.

As an aside, note that this なんだよ is a contracted version of なんだよ. This is basically based on this rule, except that んん further contracted to single ん.

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  • Doesn’t this contradict your comment on the other answer you link to? The ん in んだよ is a shortened form of の, right? So this is then a case where 〜るの does actually contract to 〜んん, isn’t it? Apr 4, 2020 at 19:49
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    @JanusBahsJacquet You're right, I failed to notice that 見てんだよ is occasionally fine, although 見てんかよ is always unacceptable. I don't know why.
    – naruto
    Apr 5, 2020 at 3:28

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