I am not sure about いなくもない in the following sentence:

「私の尋ねていることにちゃんと答えなさい」と腹をたてる人もいなくもない。 I guess the meaning is that people react pissed when someone tells them to just answer the question(s), but I am bit unsure about いなくもない.

Does it mean something like 'sometimes people might react angry when they are told to just answer the question'?

1 Answer 1


The meaning of the sentence is approximately the opposite of your interpretation, namely

Some people get angry and say "Answer my question properly"

いなくもない means something like "it's not that there isn't", or more idiomatically "there are some".

I think what confuses you about the meaning of the sentence is と. Here it is the quotative particle, not the if/when と. If you wanted to convey your interpretation, one option would be

「私の尋ねていることにちゃんと答えなさい」といわれると 腹をたてる人もいなくもない。

  • Thanks. Yes it was the particle and double-negation nai+mo that confused me. Thx.
    – toobee
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 12:24

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