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plain form (どうして隠れるんですか)

raikado

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Hello,

I was looking through some old notes and I found this sentence that I never asked about. I would like to confirm if my understanding is correct.

éµé-é+é¦!03_167.jpg
どうして隠れるんですか?
She is clearly asking why they are hiding. Why does she use the plain form to indicate what they are doing now?
Why not use 隠れている instead? Is it because it would be interpreted as a resulted state ("Why are we hidden?") and not an action in progress?
 

bentenmusume

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You'd be better off not thinking of this in terms of an English translation.

Regardless of whether or not the person being talked to is currently hiding, both are possible. If it were 隠れているんですか?, then the focus would be on "Why are you (currently) (in the state of) hiding (now)?"

If it's phrased as 隠れるんですか? like it is, there's more of a nuance that this is a habitual action. "Why do you (always/regularly/do like you're doing now) hide (in a way that annoys me so)?". The sense is more "Why do you go and hide on me like this?" rather than focusing on the current "now" state and implying indirectly (maybe) that it would be fine if you hid from me any other time.
 

raikado

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This explanation might not match the context. Sorry, I thought the image was enough context. I really should've explained the situation more.

Yotsuba (the girl saying お? in the first panel), her father and her two friends went to a festival. Before the page that I posted, her father warned her not to wander off alone. Yotsuba didn't listen and immediately dashed off without a care. Her father then takes the other two girls and hides from Yotsuba. In the bottom right panel Ena, one of the two friends, asks Yotsuba's father "どうして隠れるんですか?". The answer is that Yotsuba's father decided to hide so that he would teach Yotsuba not to wander off alone.

This is why "a nuance that this is a habitual action" doesn't seem to fit here. Them hiding is not something that has been done before in the past. Also, when Ena asks "どうして隠れるんですか?", she seems to be genuinely surprised by the fact that they are hiding, rather than being annoyed.
 
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bentenmusume

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It doesn't need to be a habitual action, though that could be one reason it's used. That's why I included the interpretation "Why do you go and hide on me like this?" (I'm not sure if that English expression, which is somewhat idiomatic, makes sense to you.) Also whether she's "surprised" or "annoyed" doesn't really enter into the situation. The point is that the focus isn't on "Why are you currently in the state of doing this?", but rather "Why do you do (things like) this?"

You'll also see this with phrases like どうしてそんなこと言うの? ("Why do you say things like that?"). なんてことしてくれるんだ, and so on and so forth. Obviously, in actuality whatever has been said or done has already been said or done (otherwise, the speaker wouldn't be reacting to it). The use of the imperfect isn't saying that it literally hasn't happened yet, it's just the way the speaker is framing it. The idea isn't "Why did you just now (in this one instance) say or do that thing (that you've already done or said and won't do anymore)?" (which is what the nuance would be if you said どうしてそんなこと言ったの?) but "Why (as a general rule) do you say or do things like that?"

This isn't to say the perfect tense versions aren't possible, of course. The point is that just because an action might still be in progress, that doesn't mean that's the only way it can be perceived/described.
 

raikado

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That's why I included the interpretation "Why do you go and hide on me like this?" (I'm not sure if that English expression, which is somewhat idiomatic, makes sense to you.)
Yes, it does make sense.


If it is the same as なんてことしてくれるんだ。then I've seen something like this before: question 5) まったく・・・なんてことしてくれるの?

Although, @Toritoribe explained it quite differently. He said that the reason the plain form (くれる) can be used is because "the speaker still suffers from what was/has been done even now". He also said in a later thread that the viewpoint is put at the time of the event.

I guess you and Toritoribe are talking about the same thing, just from different perspectives?
 
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Toritoribe

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The point is that the focus isn't on "Why are you currently in the state of doing this?", but rather "Why do you do (things like) this?"
This is the key. She is asking the reason of their action "hiding from Yotsuba", not the current state "being hidden from her". Incidentally, どうして隠れて(い)るんですか? is used when she has come across/found his being hidden since she is asking the reason of his present state in this case.
 

raikado

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Yes, I think I understand this now. The fact that jt_ mentioned that this is the same as なんてことしてくれるんだ also helped a lot, since I was at least familiar with it from that thread a while back.

Thank you both for your help! Especially jt_ for the detailed explanation.
 
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