697 - ~ようが

JLPT N1: ~ようが (doesn't matter; no matter)

~ようが is basically a fancy way of saying ~ても in a sentence carrying the meaning of "(it) doesn't matter (if / who / what / etc.)."

Examples are the best teachers:

誰に何と言われよう、私は彼と結婚します。
だれ に なんと いわれようが、 わたし は かれ と けっこん します。
It doesn’t matter what anyone says to me, I’m going to marry him.
Literally: “who + に + doesn’t matter what I am told, + I + は + he + と + marriage + do.”

言う(いう // to say
↓ ↓
言われる(いわれる // to be told
↓ ↓
言われよういわれよう // let's be told* [←people don't say this!]
↓ ↓
言われよういわれようが // doesn't matter [if / what / by whom / etc.] am told

I am tempted to say that we put the volitional form (V よう) in front of for this grammar construction, but that's not really true.

For example, you'll see that we can use i-adjectives with this almost-volitional form coming before が:


梨花さんはどんなに暑かろう、絶対に冷たい飲み物を飲まない。
りかさん は どんなに あつかろうが、 ぜったいに つめたい のみもの を のまない。
No matter how hot it is, Rika-san absolutely will not drink anything cold.
Literally: “Rika-san + は + doesn’t matter how hot it is, + absolutely (not) + cold + drink + を + won’t drink.”

↑ You'll see what's going on here in the construction section. Before that, let's talk about ~ようが and ~ても...


I hinted at this above, but we could use ~ても for both of the examples we've seen so far, and the meaning would be more or less the same:


誰に何と言われても、私は彼と結婚します。
だれ に なんと いわれても、 わたし は かれ と けっこん します。
It doesn’t matter what anyone says to me, I’m going to marry him.
Literally: “who + に + doesn’t matter what I am told (=what + と + even if [I] am told), + I + は + he + と + marriage + do.”


梨花さんはどんなに暑かくても、絶対に冷たい飲み物を飲まない。
りかさん は どんなに あつくても、 ぜったいに つめたい のみもの を のまない。
No matter how hot it is, Rika-san absolutely will not drink anything cold.
Literally: “Rika-san + は + doesn’t matter how hot it is (=how much + even if [she] is hot), + absolutely (not) + cold + drink + を + won’t drink.”

So what's the difference between ~ても and ~ようが, then?

Well, they're both common, but ~ようが sounds stronger than ~ても.

Speaking of ~ても, you should probably review these lessons, which are somewhat similar to this one:
- [NDL #526] - JLPT N4: ~ても (even if)
- [NDL #408] - JLPT N3: たとえ~ても
- [NDL #367] - JLPT N2: にしても ([hypothetical] even if)


👷 Construction 👷

There are three patterns that you'll see ~ようが in:

V よう
i-adjective ろう
na-adjective / NOUNろう


A couple more examples:


彼が何をよう、彼の自由です。
かれ が なに を しようが、 かれ の じゆう です。
He’s free to do whatever he wants.
Literally: “he + が + doesn’t matter what he does, + he + の + freedom + です.”


たとえその噂が本当ろう、僕は気にしません。
たとえ その うわさ が ほんとう だろうが、 ぼく は きにしません。
Even if that rumor were true, I wouldn’t care.
Literally: “supposing / even if + that + rumor + が + true + doesn’t matter if it is, + I + は + don’t care.”


Last but not least, we have an idiom:


雨がろう槍がろう、必ず会いに行くぞ。
あめ が ふろうが やり が ふろうが、 かならず あい に いく ぞ。
Come hell or high water, I will go see her.
Literally: “it doesn’t matter if spears or rain fall from the sky, + absolutely + go to see (=see + に + go) + ぞ.”


Cool phrase, yeah? I just so happened to have this idiom in my Anki flashcard deck:


槍が降っても僕はそこに行く。
やり が ふっても ぼく は そこ に いく。
Come hell or high water, I'm going there. // Come what may, I will go there. // No matter what happens, I am going there.
Literally: “spears + が + even if (they) fall + I + は + there + に + go.”

...but I can't remember where I encountered it. These days my new flashcards rarely have notes, or even English. *_*


Let's add a bonus sentence, just for fun:


誰に何と言われよう、日本語を身につける!
だれ に なんと いわれようが、 にほんご を みにつける!
It doesn’t matter what anyone says to me, I’m going to learn Japanese!
Literally: “who + に + doesn’t matter what I am told, + Japanese (language) + を + learn (=body + に + affix)!”