Sentence help 欠点けってんのない人間にんげんはいません。


#1

I don’t understand how this sentence means what I’ve been told it means?

欠点のない人間はいません。[everyone has flaws]

I think I’m missing what のない does in this sentence? What does it do, is this a grammar point? Why is いません negative?


#2

が can become の in relative clauses, and it functions exactly the same. So 欠点がない人間 is a relative clause that means “humans who don’t have flaws.”

And then いません is negative because it makes a double negative with ない.

There are no humans who don’t have flaws.


#3

Humans with no flaws don’t exist is the more literal translation then?


#4

Well, the double negative and the plain affirmative basically mean exactly the same thing, so either one conveys the meaning. If you want to match grammar point for grammar point then sure, you’d put the English in double negative form.

Personally I think of “literal translations” just being something to think about when dealing with an idiom or something. Like the literal translation of 虫がいい is “the bug is good” but the better translation is “selfish” because that is what it means.

Not that that is super important here though, but anyway.


#5

Thanks !! My 4am brain was like THIS SENTANCE IS NEGATIVE why is it translated postively?!
And you fixed that. Brain: oooh double negative

of course it means the same thing, but my brain refused see


#6

The double and triple negatives can get rather confusing when being too literal in mapping the translation to English. Tae Kim’s guide has some sentences like that and they are a bit awkward to wrap your brain around at first.