でも (Even) Japanese Grammar Lesson
Grammar Type: Particle
Essential Meaning: Even X
- Noun + でも
- E.g. 先生でも [Even a teacher]
- Noun + Particle + でも
- E.g. 先生とでも [Even with a teacher]
- X + でも basically means “Even X“. でも is comprised of the て-Form of the copula だ plus the particle も.
- E.g. 子供でも分かる。[Even a child can understand.]
- でも is often idiomatically paired with WH-Question words, as in:
- だれでも [No matter who / Anyone]
- なんでも [No matter what it is / Anything]
- いつでも [No matter when / Any time]
- どこでも [No matter where / Any place]
- どれでも [No matter which it is / Whichever]
- Multiple instances of でも may be used to enumerate a list of でも nouns (i.e. “Even X, and even Y, and even Z“). This usage stems from the presence of も in でも).
- E.g. あの人は魚でも肉でも食べます。[That person can eat even fish and even meat.]
- Beware of the fact that the particle でも looks identical to the で particle + も. The interpretation of whether a usage is でも or で +も depends on context.
- E.g. 日本でもインフレが大きな問題になっています。[Inflation is a big problem in Japan as well.] This is an example of で (Location) because the speaker is saying “In Japan…” rather than “Even Japan…“.
- E.g. そこはバスでも行けますか。[Can you also get there by bus?] This is an example of で (Means / Instrument) because the speaker is asking whether he or she is able to use the bus as a means of transportation to some place.
先生でも間違う。[Even teachers make mistakes.]
私は難しい仕事でもする。[I even do difficult jobs.]
ここからでも富士山が見える。[You can see Mt. Fuji even from here.]
子供でもそんなことはわかりますよ。[Even children can understand that.]
お会いしたいんですが、日曜日でもかまいませんか。[I want to meet with you, but is it all right even on Sunday?]
あの人は魚でも肉でも食べます。[He can eat anything, even fish or meat.]
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