言えてないよね

stego

New Member
Italian
Hi. I'm currently watching the anime Shirokuma Cafe. The owner of the cafe (Shirokuma-kun) is having a discussion with his friends about an event he's planning. He plans to organize an event where he's going to serve parfait to the customers. He proposes to call the event パフェフェアー. His friends point out that the name is a bit hard to say, to which he replies: いや全然大丈夫。よし決まり。パヘヘアーにしよう。So he himself gets the pronunciation wrong. One of the friends (Pengin-san) replies: 言えてないよね。

Why did Pengin-san say 言えてない as opposed to 言えなかった (you couldn't say it ) or 言えない (you can't say it) ? I get that it's the negative て [い] る form but I'm not sure why it's used here...
 
  • Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    I think the choice of words is largely made by fashion. It seems to me that いえていない is a more recent preference than いえなかった or いえない.

    Now what いえていない connotes. Usually, -teinai signifies an unfinished state. E.g.:
    社長: 今朝頼んだ書類、もうできた? あとどれくらいかかるか教えて。
    秘書: まだできていませんが、あと20分もあればできます。

    I think the incompleteness sense is quite out of place in your context. In fact いえていない here points to one's failing to fulfill the expectation of being capable of uttering the word. Shirokuma implied that he was capable by saying 全然大丈夫, but he couldn't. This unmet expectation is what いえていない implies.

    Contrast it with いえない, which is a characterizing statement for the referent (you are such a person that cannot), and with いえなかった, which focuses on a single action with little connotation.
     

    stego

    New Member
    Italian
    Thank you Flaminius-san! I wonder if this would make more sense in a different context? Let's say Pengin is trying to teach Shirokuma the correct pronunciation. After a few tries, Shirokuma is still saying パヘヘアー . Would it be ok for Pengin to say まだ言えてない。? Meaning that the process of 言えるようになる isn't complete yet and the result isn't achieved.
     

    SoLaTiDoberman

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    言えてないよね。You're not right to pronounce it, aren't you?
    言えなかったね。You wasn't able to pronounce it right, was you?
    言えないね。You can't pronounce it right, can you?
    They all means more or less the same, but the nuances are somewhat different.
    The English sentences are not the direct translations from each Japanese sentence, but I tried to convey the nuance.

    You're correct about #3, although it is a completely different usage of that expression from in #1.
     

    stego

    New Member
    Italian
    Thank you SoLaTiDoberman-san! Could you give me one more example of a situation where you normally use 可能形 + ていない ?
     

    SoLaTiDoberman

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    今度の担任いけてないよね。 いける+いない (=カッコよくない、ダサい、粋ではない、おしゃれではない)
    そうね、特にネクタイなんか超ダサいよね。
    いけてない is almost a set phrase or idiom.
    You might be better just remembering it without thinking grammatically analysis. Native speakers would not dare think the grammar.

    Other examples for 可能形+て(い)ない
    (仕事がきっちりと)やれてない
    (オリンピックの準備が)できてない
    (エクセルがうまく)使えてない
    (恋人を)愛せてない
    (計画が)練れてない
    (その道具を)使いこなせてない
    (皿をきれいに)洗えてない
    (トイレの水を)流せてない
    (正月が来ても多くのヒトが年を)越せてない
    (年越しそばを)食べれていない
    (年賀状を)出せてない
    (スレッドの質問に)答えれてない
     

    stego

    New Member
    Italian
    I like thinking about the grammar... Maybe I like it too much... Thank you for the explanation and examples :)
     
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