Number + も - Grammar Discussion


Number + Counter +

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I’m having a lot of trouble differentiating this and まで(も).

In both of these sentences the particle is used to say “as much as {number}”, and the syntax of {number} {counter} {particle} is identical, as far as I can tell. Can they both accept either も or まで?

  • あの人が事故にあって、五日間 [も] 病院で寝たって。
  • テストで96点 [まで] 取ることができたけど、もうすこし頑張りたい。

I think this should be added to the readings:


[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar : Page 250

Please add this to the readings page.

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I have just had this review from the ‘Number+も’ sentences:

“I have NOT been to Japan, NOT EVEN once” This doesn’t sound like an ‘excessive amount’
I’m not sure how the ‘も’ is adding emphasis to what is described by the hint as a low number, seems like it should be しか

The meaning states that it can be ‘not even’, can someone please explain the difference in nuance or how its used (and why not しか).

The emphasis comes from the whole 一回も. Without it, it’s just “I’ve never been to Japan”. The も conveys a meaning of inclusion. Going out of your way to include something that the statement would apply to by default anyway results in an emphasis. Something similar happens in English when we’re making a point of adding “not even once”. The meaning doesn’t change, we’ve still never been to Japan. We’ve been there zero times either way.

We can’t use しか for this. 一回しか行ったことがない means “I’ve only been there once”.

しか marks an exception. The statement applies in general but not to the thing marked with しか. With numbers and amounts, しか additionally expresses that the number is perceived as small. Since しか is only used with negative verbs, the meaning is often given as “only” or similar since that’s a natural way to convey the same nuance in English.

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