874 - ~てでも

JLPT N2: ~てでも (even if I have to...)

I always enjoy studying the more dramatic JLPT grammar patterns.

This is one of them.

When you want something to happen so badly that you're willing to go to extreme measures so that it will, you can use ~てでも.

It's a bit similar to saying "even if I have to" in English.

An example:

イチローの引退試合は仕事を辞めでも見に行きたい。
イチロー の いんたい じあい は しごと を やめてでも み に いきたい。
I want to go see Ichiro’s final game, even if I have to quit my job to do so.
Literally: “Ichiro + の + retirement + match + は + job + を + quit (and) + でも + want to go see (=seeing + に + want to go).”


The extreme measure — an action the speaker is willing to perform — appears in the て-form. That is then followed by でも, which is then typically followed by the speaker's hope, desire, etc.

V てでも

 

Another example:

多少無理しでも庭付きの一戸建てを買いたい。
たしょう むり してでも にわ つき の いっこだて を かいたい。
Even if it’s a little beyond my means, I want to buy a house with a garden.
Literally: “somewhat + impossible / unreasonable + do (and) + でも + garden + -attached / -including + の + detached house / standalone house + を + want to buy.”
Note: It's really difficult to translate 無理して in this sentence into natural English. Depending on the context, we'd probably use a more specific phrase in English. This often happens with 無理する.

 

And another:

39度の熱があったが、甥の結婚式には這っでも行くべきだった。
さんじゅうきゅう ど の ねつ が あった が、 おい の けっこんしき に は はってでも いく べき だった。
I had a 39 degree fever. Still, I should have gone to my nephew’s wedding, even if I had to crawl to get there.
Literally: “39 degrees + の + fever + が + had + but, + nephew + の + wedding ceremony + に + は + crawl (and) + でも + go + should / ought to + was.”


↑ Have you forgotten the meaning/usage of べきだ? If so, you can go back to this lesson: [NDL #429] - JLPT N3: べきだ.

 

Last one:

どんなことをでも彼女を守る。
どんな こと を してでも かのじょ を まもる。
I’ll do whatever it takes to protect her.
Literally: “what kind of + thing + を + do (and) + でも + she + を + protect.”

 

That's all for this lesson.

I don't find myself saying dramatic sentences like the ones in this lesson all that often. I'll be waiting for the opportunity to use ~てでも in my own speech, though.
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