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I have problems with a phrase I found:

高が子供となめてかかる

It was an example sentence of たかが:

[副]程度・質・数量などが、取るに足りないさま。問題にするほどの価値のないさま。「―子供となめてかかる」「―一度の失敗」

I know that in this contenxt, なめる means to make fun of. I found an explanation of なめてかかる here: かかれ as used in the expression「ナメてかかれ」

However, I don't get why there should be a と here. Are we making fun of something with a certain child or of a child? Why then isn't を used?

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    Here's a related post 63054 I hope this helps!
    – dungarian
    Feb 13 at 11:46

1 Answer 1

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It is quotative:

「たかが子供」となめてかかる
"think light of (him/her) that '(s/he is) a mere child' "
"think light of (him/her) as a mere child"

Although technically a sentence adverb, たかが is only used with a nominal predicate and never a verb. Thus it is impossible to be parsed as an argument of the main verb: なめる or なめてかかる. If you want to say something with a verb together with たかが, you need to attach ~くらいだ or ~程度だ to make it a noun clause.

たかがバス停まで走ったくらいで息を切らしてしまった
"got out of breath just by running to the bus stop"

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