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恋人にもなれない、普段は上司と部下という関係が邪魔をする。で、あればサンタの贈り物、とまではいきませんが忘れられない思い出を作るしかないじゃないですか。あなたはいずれフランスに帰るのでしょう?

What does "とまではいきません" mean here?

Also, on that note, I'm kind of confused about the "de , areba"... I would've expected it to be "deareba" together.

I'm not entirely sure what the meaning of the sentence is because I can't connect these parts of the sentence together in my head. I'd appreciate any help in breaking this down. (doesn't have to be any complex explanation, I try to just learn by intuition when I can)

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~とまではいかないが/とまではいかないとしても is a construct that means something to the effect of "is not that much, but...", "hasn't reached that degree, but..." I remembered it being a JLPT grammar point, but strangely I couldn't find much information on other sites. But please see this related Q&A: とまではいかないまでも meaning

Here いく can be roughly understood as "to reach (a degree)". So the preceding thing is taken to be a baseline for comparison, and the thing being described, often the sentence topic, has not reached that baseline in degree/intensity/significance etc. This construct sometimes corresponds neatly with the English phrase I wouldn't go as far as to.

"I wouldn't go as far as to call that a present from Santa". Of course in the Japanese construct it is the thing at issue that does the "go" action, whereas the English phrase has the speaker inserting their own agency into the utterance and doing the "go", but semantically they could both arrive at the same meaning. Essentially this is hedging language. The speaker is comparing one thing to another, but is unwilling to assert that they are the same.

で is short for それで/そこで, meaning "then". A conjunction (接続詞) in this sentence, it actually makes sense here, more so than if it were であれば. I'd expect something before であれば.

I take あれば to mean (もしそれが)あれば, and それ possibly referring to 恋人になること.

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  • Perfect answer! Clarifies the whole sentence for me. I really appreciate the explanation. Thank you very much!
    – Lokitan
    Dec 30 '21 at 7:07

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