もう

もう Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Adverb

Essential Meaning: Already / Now / Not any longer

Construction: Adverb

Notes:

  • もう is the opposite of まだ. もう expresses the idea that something or someone is no longer in the same state that they were in previously. For example, consider these two sentences: (1) “I haven’t brushed my teeth yet.” (2) “I already brushed my teeth.” Sentence 1 conveys the idea that the speaker is still in the state of having not brushed his or her teeth. Sentence 2 conveys the idea that the speaker is no longer in the state of having not brushed his or teeth. Thus, まだ would be appropriate in sentence 1, and もう would be appropriate in sentence 2.
    • E.g. わたしはもうみがいた。[I already brushed my teeth.]
    • E.g. 私はまだみがいていない。[I haven’t brushed my teeth yet.]
  • もう can be with both positive or negative verbs. With a positive verb, もう corresponds to the English “Already” or “Now“. With a negative verb, もう corresponds to the English “No longer“.
    • E.g. With Positive Verb: わたしはもうひるごはんをべた。[I already ate lunch.]
    • E.g. With Positive Verb: 春男はるおくんはもう大丈夫だいじょうぶです。[Haruo-kun is OK now.]
    • E.g. With Negative Verb: ヒルさんはもう日本語にほんご勉強べんきょうしていない。[Ms. Hill is no longer studying Japanese.]

Example Sentences:

わたしはもうひるごはんをべた。[I already ate lunch.]

ヒルさんはもう日本語にほんご勉強べんきょうしていない。[Ms. Hill is no longer studying Japanese.]

A: もう宿題しゅくだいをしましたか。B: はい、もうしました。[A: Did you already do your homework? B: Yes, I already did it.]

わたしはもうさけみません。[I don’t drink sake any more.]

春男はるおくんはもう大丈夫だいじょうぶです。[Haruo-kun is OK now.]

WILD Examples:

From 1:56, listen for this line: おなほんかえして、またkく, もうきたわ [Re-reading the same books, drawing pictures again, but I’ve already lost interest]
Listen to this line at 1:17 こわいものなんてない、ぼくらはもう一人ひとりじゃない [Nothing scares us, We’re no longer alone.]
At 1:53, listen for this line: 永遠えいえんもうなかばすぎてしまったみたい [It appears that eternity has already passed the halfway mark]
Listen for this line at 2:53: かがやいていたい、もうめたな [I want to shine, I’ve already decided]
Listen to this dialogue from 0:42: Belle: りたほんかえしします。Clerk: もうんだのかい? [Belle: I’m returning the book I borrowed: Claerk: You already finished reading it?]

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