An English grammar rule I don't understand



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Muke

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#=in English
The Lady is American.
The boy is from Japan.
Mind that the Dub was German.

So, this lady asks a boy: "Who are you? #You are not a mere boy, are you?# You can also answer in your language.", in an Anime.
The boy answers with: "#Yes.# Exactly, you are right, I'm just a regular student."

At the end of the Episode, the lady talks to the student again.

She explains that only somebody who really knows the English language would answer with 'Yes'.
Sooo… why exactly?
 

VoidGear.

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Probably because he answers "yes" to "you aren't, are you?"
Others would probably say sth like "But I am just a student" or "you"re wrong, I'm actually really just a student, because the first part of her sentence is a negative question.
 

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Because he answered the question that was asked in English and not the, "Who are you?" that was asked in German, I guess. Or maybe I'm missing something.
 

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With what the woman said: "You are not a mere boy, are you?", that he probably should have just answered with "yes" and not mention he's a student. Maybe just to show respect or something like that Idk. Or he didn't need to mention he's a student because it would consider him "young" being as student that's learning so he would be like a boy to her???? Either that, or I agree with what Voido said.
 

Muke

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With what the woman said: "You are not a mere boy, are you?", that he probably should have just answered with "yes" and not mention he's a student. Maybe just to show respect or something like that Idk. Or he didn't need to mention he's a student because it would consider him "young" being as student that's learning so he would be like a boy to her???? Either that, or I agree with what Voido said.
wat

Probably because he answers "yes" to "you aren't, are you?"
Others would probably say sth like "But I am just a student" or "you"re wrong, I'm actually really just a student, because the first part of her sentence is a negative question.
I guess you're right. The lady said that people in his language would answer with "no", a... verneinung. Thank youu
 

Xickin

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Yeah, I'm pretty sure he was just answering her, "you aren't, are you?" but to be honest it sounds a little odd. I mean, I don't think that'd be my word choice for answering her question; it sounds weird to me.
 

CutiePique

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:eek: I read something related to this, I think... yeah?

When “yes” means “no” — The Japanese language quirk that trips English speakers up | RocketNews24
I suppose the key thing for English speakers to remember is that Japanese yes/no responses to negative questions are intended to tell the questioner that whatever they’ve just said either is or isn’t the case.
I'm assuming "mere boy" and "regular student" are simply alternate ways of saying he is "ordinary" (as opposed to subtly different terms that the boy is nitpicking over). Sooo... when answering the question "You are not [ordinary], are you?" the Japanese answer would be (based on this article) "No, I am [ordinary]" because the negative statement "you are not [ordinary]" is wrong. Based on the article, an English speaker would respond "Yes, I am [ordinary]"; the speaker is responding to whether they are [ordinary] or not.

I thiiiiiink.
 

Muke

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:eek: I read something related to this, I think... yeah?

When “yes” means “no” — The Japanese language quirk that trips English speakers up | RocketNews24

I'm assuming "mere boy" and "regular student" are simply alternate ways of saying he is "ordinary" (as opposed to subtly different terms that the boy is nitpicking over). Sooo... when answering the question "You are not [ordinary], are you?" the Japanese answer would be (based on this article) "No, I am [ordinary]" because the negative statement "you are not [ordinary]" is wrong. Based on the article, an English speaker would respond "Yes, I am [ordinary]"; the speaker is responding to whether they are [ordinary] or not.

I thiiiiiink.
Ooooh okay, now I get it! Thanks!
 
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