も Particles, も Problems, Part III
For example, look at what happens when we attach でも to question words (and compare it to what happens when も attaches to question words):
何 → 何も → 何でも
なに → なにも → なんでも
what → nothing → anything; whatever
誰 → 誰も → 誰でも
だれ → だれも → だれでも
who → nobody → anyone; whoever
どこ → どこも → どこでも
where → nowhere → anywhere; wherever
いつ → いつも → いつでも
when → always → anytime; whenever
Some sentences, of course...
Ask me anything.
Literally: "anything + ask (and)."
そんな の だれでも しってる よ。
Everyone knows that (kind of thing).
Literally: "that kind of + の + anyone + is knowing + よ."
Note #1: Hopefully you noticed that そんな, an adjective, is becoming a noun thanks to the の coming after it, which we discussed in this lesson.
Note #2: You may find it interesting that Japanese people often have trouble differentiating the usage of English words like "anyone" and "everyone."
Where do you wanna go?
Literally: "where + go?"
どこでも いい よ。
Anywhere is fine (with me).
Literally: "anywhere + good + よ."
どこでも かえる よ。
You can buy them anywhere.
Literally: "anywhere / wherever + can buy + よ."
いつでも れんらく して。
Call me anytime. // Contact me whenever (you want to).
Literally: "anytime + getting in touch + do (and)."
What do you think? Making sense? It doesn't really matter much if not. I'll beat you over the head with this stuff.
Hey, let's take a...
🚙 Detour! 🚙
Since we're talking about question words, I'd also like to mention いくら (how much), which is a particularly useful word for shopping in Japan:
これ は いくら です か？
How much is this?
Literally: "this + は + how much + です + か?"
Can you guess what happens when we put でも after いくら? That would give us…
いくら → いくらでも
how much → any amount; no matter how much
Let's say you're begging your friend to sell you something, perhaps a collectible that you're obsessed with. Your friend is reluctant to part with this item, though. Eventually you break down and say:
うって くれ よ。 いくらでも はらう から。
Sell it to me. I'll pay anything for it.
Literally: "sell (and) + give (me) + よ. + any amount + pay + because."
Note: Ending a request with「～てくれ」makes it sound like a command. A more polite request would end with「～てくれる？」、「～てください」、etc.
By the way, we can also put question words before an adjective, noun, or verb with the ～ても ending, like so:
いくら やすくても、 ジャンクフード は かいません。
It doesn't matter how cheap it is, I don't buy junk food.
Literally: "how much + even if (it is) cheap, + junk food + は + don't buy."
Or maybe the word I'm looking for is "confusing."
Meh, whatever. ^_^
Hey, let's take a...
🚙 Second Detour! 🚙
Once, long ago, I was at a party in Tokyo. If I remember correctly, it was a coworker's birthday party in 飯田橋 (いいだばし // Iidabashi).
I was still a student back then, and I met this coworker teaching at an English conversation cafe (where all you do is chat in English but not teach).
Anyway, I was speaking Japanese with her and some friends. I made a joke about something, which I probably half-mumbled, and she asked, "What?"
I proceeded to incorrectly say:
Literally: "nothing + there isn't."
She quickly corrected me, letting me know that it should be:
It's nothing. // Nothing. // Never mind.
Literally: "anything + there isn't."
Like most embarrassing mistakes, I never forgot it. *_*