Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 1: 1/18

でも

Or something, Any... (with question words), No matter (who)

Structure

Noun + でも + Suggestion
だれでも - Anyone
なんでも - Anything
どこでも - Anywhere
いつでも - Anytime

Details

  • Register

    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About でも

でも is one of many adverbial particles in Japanese. These are particles that behave like a regular 助詞(じょし) (in that they appear after the words that they are referencing), but their role is a little bit more specific. でも itself has several uses, and the use that we will examine in this grammar point is called 例示(れいじ). Basically this means 'presenting examples'.

In English, this results in a translation similar to 'even', or 'or something'. To use this structure, simply attach でも to the end of any noun, or pronoun.

When grouped with a standard noun as above, でも is just showing that the noun is an example/suggestion, and that there are other choices/possibilities available. However, when the noun is a word like (だれ), どこ, (なん), or いつ, the translation becomes much closer to English words like 'anyone', 'anywhere', 'anything', or 'anytime'.

Fun Fact

There is debate among Japanese native speakers about whether でも should be considered its own word, or if it is actually just a combination of the particles and (or and in the case of verbs, but we will cover that later). As and together could be translated as 'even with (A)', it would also be correct to consider it this way.

  • スプーンでも缶詰(かんづめ)()
    A can will open, even with a spoon.

Caution

When grouped with (なに), the pronunciation will almost always change to なん. This is purely to make なんでも easier to say.

Examples

--:--

  • どこでもいい

    Anywhere is good.

    • いつでも(いえ)()てください

      Please come to my house anytime.

      • いつでも電話(でんわ)()から

        I will answer the phone anytime.

        • いつでも洗濯(せんたく)できます

          I can do laundry anytime.

          • (だれ)でも(かれ)名前(なまえ)()っています

            Everyone knows his name.

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            でも – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (9 in total)

            • robnice

              robnice

              I ran into the following sentence and was really thrown by the でも。

              100 以上 の 人工 衛星 を 1 台 の ロケット で 打ち上げる こと は 、 世界 でも ほとんど あり ませ ん 。
              

              I came back to bunpro and looked up the grammar point for でも and it confused me even more. I agree with the examples you gave to better explain how でも is actually working with nouns and the interogative words.

            • hanslim77

              hanslim77

              isn’t でも also used as ‘but’? at least when connecting 2 clauses (also why sometimes instead of けど or が in reviews when I first started using it, Bunpro flags it as a potential answer (yellow text)

              but if it’s used as ‘even’ or ‘anything’, it doesn’t seem to sound right?

            • MikkaT

              MikkaT

              Hi,
              i started the N5 vocab deck in anime order and でも came up with the translation “but”, which i heard tons of times in several anime. Why is this a meaning in vocab but not at the grammar point and most importantly what are the differences to が and(だ) けど which are described as formal and less formal ways to say “but”?
              Thanks in advance

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