Wild Nihongo!
~も~も

~も~も

~も~も Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Structure

Essential Meaning: Both X and Y / Neither X nor Y

Construction: 

  • Noun も + Noun も + (Noun も)
    • E.g. 先生せんせい学生がくせい [Both the teacher and the student]
  • [Noun + Particle + も] + [Noun + Particle + も] + ([Noun + Particle + も])
    • 先生せんせいにも学生がくせいにも [Both to the teacher and to the student]
  • [い-Adjective Stem + くも] + [い-Adjective Stem + くも] + Negative Verb
    • おおきくもちいさくもない [Neither large nor small]
  • [な-Adjective Stem / Noun] でも + [な-Adjective Stem / Noun] でも + Negative Verb
    • E.g. 便利べんりでも不便ふべんでもない [Neither convenient nor inconvenient]
    • E.g. 先生せんせいでも学生がくせいでもない [Neither a teacher nor a student]

Notes:

  • XもYも is a structure that translates to “Both X and Y” with a positive predicate or “Neither X nor Y” with a negative predicate. X and Y should be grammatically parallel (i.e. both い-Adjective, both な-Adjectives, both Nouns) for the sake of style.
  • Note that adjectives are only used with ~も~も in a negative context (i.e. “Neither X nor Y“). In positive contexts, the ordinary adjective て-Form can be used instead.
    • E.g. このアパートはせまくて不便ふべんです。[This apartment is narrow and inconvenient.]
    • E.g. このアパートは便利べんりでも不便ふべんでもない。[This apartment is neither convenient nor inconvenient.]
  • When using the ~も~も structure negatively with nouns (i.e. Neither Noun 1 nor Noun 2), the structure becomes Noun 1 でも Noun 2 でも + negative verb.
    • E.g. 山川やまかまさんはさけでもタバコでもやりません。[Mr. Yamakawa neither drinks nor smokes.]
  • Technically, Noun も Noun も Noun も can be used with an infinitely long string of nouns, but it is stylistically awkward to use more than three nouns.

Example Sentences:

田中たなかさんも中山なかやまさんもデパートにつとめている。[Both Tanaka-san and Nakayama-san work at the department store.]

京都きょうとへバスでも電車でんしゃでもける。[You can go to Kyoto either by bus or by train.]

このうちはひろくもせまくもない。[This house is neither spacious nor narrow.]

日本人にほんじんもアメリカじんもよくはたらく。[Both Japanese people and American people work a lot.]

山川やまかわさんはさけでもタバコでもやりません。[Mr. Yamakawa neither drinks nor smokes.]

おとうとにもいもうとにもほんってやりました。[I bought books for both my younger brother and my younger sister.]

マギーは美人びじんでも不美人ふびじんでもない。[Maggie is neither beautiful nor ugly.]

この建物たてものはきれいでも立派りっぱでもありません。[This building is neither pretty nor magnificent.]

WILD Examples:

At 0:27, listen for this line: かがやほしながれるくも名前なまえかれてもからない [As for the shining stars and the streaming cloud…if I were asked what their names are, I would have no idea.] At 0:45, listen for: かなしいときうれしいときなんども上げていた, そのそら [Both during sad times and happy times, I was always looking up at that sky]

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