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From からかい上手の高木さん episode 1 高木 is pulling a prank on 西方 while borrowing his eraser, in which she starts to convince him that he wrote his crush’s name on his eraser; thus it makes him believe that his crush’s identity has been exposed to 高木. 西方 now starting to think that he may have wrote a name on his eraser after all (but still in somewhat doubt), then says to himself (at 6min 13sec): 書いたのか? 書いたのか?俺! 忘れてるだけ… For the last clause listed, in the English subtitles it translates to, ”Am I just forgetting?” I have been having trouble with the で placed at the end there. So far my best guess is that is some sort of informal contraction of ではないか; as in: 忘れてるだけではないか = “Is it that (I am) just forgetting?” Any help towards an understanding for this would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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  • What is the context? Who says what?
    – Manab
    Nov 28, 2022 at 1:15
  • Added context, 西方 is the one saying it to himself.
    – levikara
    Nov 28, 2022 at 1:29

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I think you could interpret it in two ways.

It could be the TE FORM of the copula. Therefore:

I am just forgetting and... (that's bad)

Or as the function of the TE particle that expresses the method:

By only forgetting ... (my secret will be exposed).

I really don't think it is abbreviated.

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  • Hm, I have considered both of those interpretations. The main reason I still have my doubt with those is that they both take away the whole nuance that speaker is questioning his own memory (imo). I suppose the English translation could have been written to not be near as literal. However Nishikata does seem to have a questioning tone of voice when saying that.
    – levikara
    Nov 28, 2022 at 1:57
  • That is a really natural thing to do. "By only forgetting" and "I am just forgetting and" are not natural at all as translations and that's probably why they changed it. You can indeed say "By me only forgetting ... huh.. I wonder what happened" with a questioning tone as 独り言.
    – Manab
    Nov 28, 2022 at 2:07
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    Yeah, actually thinking about it a bit more I think the て form of だ makes the most sense in this scenario because it actually doesn’t really get rid of the rhetorical questioning nuance, as it could be translated somewhere along the lines of, “Am I just forgetting (and stuff)?” Thank you for the input! I think I just needed to bounce these ideas off of someone else.
    – levikara
    Nov 28, 2022 at 2:21

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