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All About Japanese Particles: も (mo)

Note: See also -te mo (-de mo), #4, and de mo, #5.

1. Indicates that two words are equal in weight: “also, too.”

これは桜です。これ桜です。
Kore wa sakura desu. Kore mo sakura desu.
This is a cherry tree. This is a cherry tree, too.

ポールさんは日本語を勉強しています。ナンシーさん日本語を勉強しています。
Pōru-san wa Nihon-go o benkyō shite imasu. Nanshii-san mo Nihon-go o benkyō shite imasu.
Paul is studying Japanese. Nancy is also studying Japanese.

2. Showing similar nouns in parallel construction: “and, as well as, both.”

私の会社には、アメリカ人中国人います。
Watashi no kaisha ni wa, Amerika-jin mo chūgoku-jin mo imasu.
There are both Americans and Chinese in my company.

花子さんは、すしてんぷら好きですよ。
Hanako-san wa, sushi mo tenpura mo suki desu yo.
Hanako likes both sushi and tempura.

3. Indicates an addition: “as well as, in addition.”

これは黒ですが、白い靴ありますよ。
Kore wa kuro desu ga, shiroi kutsu mo arimasu yo.
These are black, but we have white shoes as well.

日本では子供だけでなく、大人マンガを読んでいます。
Nihon de wa kodomo dake de naku, otona mo manga o yon-de imasu.
In Japan, not only children read comic books, but adults as well.

4. Shows emphasis or absence of doubt concerning a question of time, quantity, etc.: “any number of times, continually.”

あの映画は何度見ました。
Ano eiga wa nando mo mimashita.
I have seen that movie any number of times.

このレストランは、いつ混んでいます。
Kono resutoran wa, itsu mo konde imasu.
This restaurant is always crowded.

5. Indicates total negation concerning a question of quality or quantity (accompanied by a negative verb): “no, nothing.”

ありませんが、召し上がって下さい。
Nani mo arimasen ga, meshiagatte kudasai.
We have nothing special to offer, but please help yourself. (Lit., There is nothing, but please eat [a conventional phrase].)

あの部屋には、だれいませんよ。
Ano heya ni wa, dare mo imasen yo.
There is no one in that room.

6. To emphasize the extent of a number: “all of, as much (many) as.”

スミスさんは漢字を5000知っています。
Sumisu-san wa, kanji o gosen mo shitte imasu.
Mr. Smith knows all of five thousand kanji.

そのアパートの家賃は、一ヶ月90万円するそうです。
Sono apāto no yachin wa, ikkagetsu kyujū-man-en mo suru sō desu.
The rent for that apartment is said to be as high as ¥900,000.

7. Indicates approximation (by showing an approximate upper limit) regarding number or quantity: “around, up to.”

1時間あれば、ホテルから空港へ行けます。
Ichi-jikan mo areba, hoteru kara kūkō e ikemasu.
If you have as much as an hour, you can get from the hotel to the airport. / You can get from the hotel to the airport inside an hour [in an hour or so].

5万円出せば、いいカメラが買えますよ。
Go-man-en mo daseba, ii kamera ga kaemasu yo.
If you spend up to ¥50,000, you can get a good camera. / You can buy a good camera for ¥50,000.

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

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