in Blog

All About Japanese Particles: でも (demo)

Note: In all usages except no. 6, de mo can be replaced by the more informal datte (not included in this book). See also mo, #3, and -te mo (-de mo), #4.

1. Used after nouns to emphasize a hypothetical: “even, even if.”

つまらない会議でも仕事ですから出なければなりません。
Tsumaranai kaigi de mo shigoto desu kara denakereba narimasen.
Even if it’s a boring meeting, you have to attend since it’s [part of] the job. / You have to attend even the boring meetings since it’s [part of] the job.

嫌いな食べ物でも、体によければ食べた方がいいですね。
Kirai na tabemono de mo, karada ni yokereba tabeta hō ga ii desu ne.
Even if it’s food you dislike, you should eat it if it’s good for your health. / You should eat even food you dislike if it’s good for your health.

2. Used after nouns for emphasis: “even.”

その仕事は私でもできましたから、あなたならすぐできますよ。
Sono shigoto wa watashi de mo dekimashita kara, anata nara sugu dekimasu yo.
Since even I was able to do that work, you will be able to do it immediately. / If / can do it, you should be able to do it [handle that job] with ease.

動物でも人間の心がわかります。
Dōbutsu de mo ningen no kokoro ga wakarimasu.
Even animals can understand the human heart.

3. Used after an interrogative word for positive emphasis: “any-(one, where, etc.).”

ジョンさんは、日本料理ならなんでも食べます。
Jon-san wa, Nihon-ryōri nara nan de mo tabemasu.
John will eat any [kind of] Japanese food.

私は、夜だったらいつでもいいですよ。
Watashi wa, yoru dattara itsu de mo ii desu yo.
As long as it’s at night, any time is all right for me. / Any time at night is fine with me.

4. Used in the form donna … de mo: “whatever.”

ヨーロッパへ行ったら、どんな美術館でも見てみたい。
Yōroppa e ittara, donna bijutsu-kan de mo mite mitai.
If I go to Europe, I’ll want to see whatever museums [I can].

英語のできる人なら、どんな人でもかまいません。
Eigo no dekiru hito nara, donna hito de mo kamaimasen.
As long as it’s someone who can speak English, it doesn’t matter who it is. / Anyone who can speak English will do.

5. Used with two or more nouns which serve as examples of a larger list: “either … or (and others of a similar nature).”

松本さんは運動神経がいいので、テニスでも、ゴルフでもできますよ。
Matsumoto-san wa undō-shinkei ga ii no de, tenisu de mo, gorufu de mo dekimasu yo.
Given Matsumoto’s good reflexes, he can play either tennis or golf [or any other sport].

片岡さんは、外国語に興味を持っているから、フランス語でも中国語でもすぐ覚えてしまう。
Kataoka-san wa gaikoku-go ni kyōmi o motte iru kara, Furansu-go de mo Chūgoku-go de mo sugu oboete shimau.
Since Kataoka is interested in foreign languages, he can easily pick up either French or Chinese [or any other language].

6. Indicates one possibility: “… or something.”

映画でも見に行きませんか。
Eiga de mo mi ni ikimasen ka.
Hou about going to see  a movie or something?

レコードでも聞きましょうか。
Rekōdo de mo kikimashō ka.
Shall we listen to a record or something?

– Source: All about particles – A handbook of Japanese function words

Write a Comment

Comment