Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 8: 16/19

ないまでも

May not … but (at least), Even though not, Even if not

Structure

Verb[ない]+ までも + Phrase
Noun + ではない(1) + までも + Phrase

(1) じゃない

Details

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    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About ないまでも

ないまでも is a combination of the negated form of a verb, the case-marking particle まで 'until', and the adverbial particle も 'even'. It will often be translated as 'even though not (A), (B)', or 'it may not be (A), but (B)'. This structure usually presents some form of extreme (A) which has not yet been reached, but the lower extent of (B) cannot be denied. The literal translation is 'even though not reaching (A), (B)'.
  • この作品(さくひん)名作(めいさく)だとは()ないまでも、なかなかいい作品(さくひん)だと(おも)う。
    This may not be a masterpiece, but I think that it is a pretty good piece.
  • 犯罪(はんざい)などは完全(かんぜん)になくせないまでも()らすように頑張(がんば)るべきだ。
    Even though it may not be possible to eliminate crime, we should try our best to reduce it.
  • プロ野球(やきゅう)選手(せんしゅ)にはなれないまでも、プロ野球(やきゅう)(かか)わる仕事(しごと)をしているので満足(まんぞく)している。
    Even though I can't become a professional baseball player, I am satisfied because my job is related to professional baseball.
Depending on the source, this structure may occasionally be used with nouns. In this case, it will need to follow ではない, or the casual じゃない.
  • 毎週(まいしゅう)ではないまでも(むすめ)()えるだけ(しあわ)せだ。
    I'm just happy to see my daughter, even if it's not every week.
  • ()きな仕事(しごと)ができないから(しあわ)じゃないまでも生活費(せいかつひ)(こま)っていないから文句(もんく)()えない。
    Even though I can't do what I love for work, I can't complain because I am not struggling with my bills.
This grammar pattern will be used in both positive and negative situations. For example, (A) may be the best outcome, where (B) is something just below that which is desirable, or (A) may be the worst outcome, where (B) is just below that, but still quite bad.
Often, the (B) phrase will express some kind of wish or demand that the speaker wants to meet with structures like たい, てほしい, てください, たらどう, つもり, といい, etc.

Examples

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    ファンタジー小説(しょうせつ):「勇者(ゆうしゃ)えみりあを仲間(なかま)にしないまでも(いち)()()ってみたらどうですか?」

    Fantasy novel: 'You may not make hero Emilia into an ally, but what about meeting her at least once?'

    これは不可能(ふかのう)ではないまでも実行(じっこう)するのは困難(こんなん)である。

    This may not be impossible, but carrying it out is hard.

    急速(きゅうそく)充電(じゅうでん)はバッテリーを(ただ)ちに駄目(だめ)にしないまでも性能(せいのう)をより(はや)低下(ていか)させる。

    Fast charging may not immediately damage the battery, but it will decrease its performance faster.

    リザ「大谷(おおや)一番(いちばん)ハンサムといわないまでも、かなりカッコいい(おとこ)だと(おも)うよ。」

    Riza 'I won't say that Ooya is the most handsome, but I think he is quite a cool guy.'

    (はじ)めてJLPTN1を受験(じゅけん)したが、合格(ごうかく)できないまでも、せめて80(てん)得点(とくてん)できたい。

    I took the JLPT N1 exam for the first time, I may not pass, but at least I want to get 80 points.

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