も Particles, も Problems, Part III

As you've likely realized by now, we won't always have the word "even" in our translations of sentences with ~ても and ~でも. In fact, you'll run into a wide variety of meanings and translations, depending on the situation.

For example, look at what happens when we attach でも to question words (and compare it to what happens when も attaches to question words):

何 → 何も → 何でも
なに → なにも → なんでも
what → nothing → anything; whatever



誰 → 誰も → 誰でも
だれ → だれも → だれでも
who → nobody → anyone; whoever



どこ → どこも → どこでも
where → nowhere → anywhere; wherever



いつ → いつも → いつでも
when → always → anytime; whenever



Some sentences, of course...

 



なんでも聞いて。
なんでも きいて。
Ask me anything.
Literally: "anything + ask (and)."


 



そんなの誰でも知ってるよ。
そんな の だれでも しってる よ。
Everyone knows that (kind of thing).
Literally: "that kind of + の + anyone + is knowing + よ."
Note #1: Hopefully you noticed that そんな, an adjective, is becoming a noun thanks to the の coming after it, which we discussed in this lesson.
Note #2: You may find it interesting that Japanese people often have trouble differentiating the usage of English words like "anyone" and "everyone."


 



 A: 
どこ行く?
どこ いく?
Where do you wanna go?
Literally: "where + go?"



 B: 
どこでもいいよ。
どこでも いい よ。
Anywhere is fine (with me).
Literally: "anywhere + good + よ."


 



どこでも買えるよ。
どこでも かえる よ。
You can buy them anywhere.
Literally: "anywhere / wherever + can buy + よ."


 



いつでも連絡して。
いつでも れんらく して。
Call me anytime. // Contact me whenever (you want to).
Literally: "anytime + getting in touch + do (and)."



What do you think? Making sense? It doesn't really matter much if not. I'll beat you over the head with this stuff.

Hey, let's take a...

 



🚙 Detour! 🚙

Since we're talking about question words, I'd also like to mention いくら (how much), which is a particularly useful word for shopping in Japan:

これはいくらですか?
これ は いくら です か?
How much is this?
Literally: "this + は + how much + です + か?"



Can you guess what happens when we put でも after いくら? That would give us…

いくら → いくらでも
how much → any amount; no matter how much



Let's say you're begging your friend to sell you something, perhaps a collectible that you're obsessed with. Your friend is reluctant to part with this item, though. Eventually you break down and say:

売ってくれよ。いくらでも払うから。
うって くれ よ。 いくらでも はらう から。
Sell it to me. I'll pay anything for it.
Literally: "sell (and) + give (me) + よ. + any amount + pay + because."
Note: Ending a request with「~てくれ」makes it sound like a command. A more polite request would end with「~てくれる?」、「~てください」、etc.



By the way, we can also put question words before an adjective, noun, or verb with the ~ても ending, like so:

いくら安くても、ジャンクフードは買いません。
いくら やすくても、 ジャンクフード は かいません。
It doesn't matter how cheap it is, I don't buy junk food.
Literally: "how much + even if (it is) cheap, + junk food + は + don't buy."



Cool, huh?

Or maybe the word I'm looking for is "confusing."

Meh, whatever. ^_^

Hey, let's take a...

 



🚙 Second Detour! 🚙

Once, long ago, I was at a party in Tokyo. If I remember correctly, it was a coworker's birthday party in 飯田橋 (いいだばし // Iidabashi).

I was still a student back then, and I met this coworker teaching at an English conversation cafe (where all you do is chat in English but not teach).

Anyway, I was speaking Japanese with her and some friends. I made a joke about something, which I probably half-mumbled, and she asked, "What?"

I proceeded to incorrectly say:

何もない。
なにも ない。
There's nothing.
Literally: "nothing + there isn't."



She quickly corrected me, letting me know that it should be:

何でもない。
なんでも ない。
It's nothing. // Nothing. // Never mind.
Literally: "anything + there isn't."



Like most embarrassing mistakes, I never forgot it. *_*




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