How to use the particle も(=mo) & 「一★も」

October 8, 2013 in Beginners, Grammar

how to use mo
= Nekogo wa hitokoto mo hanasemasen.
= I can’t speak a word of Cat language.

Hi everyone! Can anybody understand what this kitten is talking about?
!to right! ニャー= Nyaa = meow!
I wish I could understand her….but I’m sure she is  giving me nice compliments. :)
OK, today we will learn one of the functions of the particle (=mo)
Many of you already know, you use (=mo) as an inclusive particle when you want to say “also, again, ,too”.
Ex. NEWS好きだし、嵐好きだ。
= NEWS mo sukidashi Arashi mo sukida.
= I like NEWS and I also like Arashi.Ex. 同じことを言っていた。

= Kare mo onaji koto wo itte ita.

= He was also saying the same thing.

Ex. コーヒー下さい。

= Koohii mo kudasai.

= May I have coffee, too?

Ex. 明日会える?

= Ashita mo aeru?

= Can I see you again tomorrow?

But today we will study the function of emphasizing what comes before that both in a positive and negative sentence.Let’s compare the following sentences.


A and B are talking about a book.

A : まだ半分読み終えていない。
= Mada kono hon hanbun mo yomioete inai.
= I haven’t finished reading even the half (of the book).B : え?もう半分読んだの?

= Eh? Mou hanbun mo yondano?

= What? You have already read the half?

They both emphasize “the half of the book” in a negative way and  positive way.A lot of time we use   with a number, amount, quantity and its counter unit.

We are going to focus on this usage today.

First, please note that sometimes it is hard to translate in English. 

We emphasizes the amount or quantity which comes before that and it shows one’s feelings that something is a lot/long/too much/too many /too long.  

Ex. 1) 1年で10kg太った。
=  Ichinen de jukkiro  futotta.
= I gained 10 kg in one year.
If you add , you can emphasize 10 kg
Ex. 2) 1年で10kg太った。 :cryingboy:
=  Ichinen de jukkiro mo futotta.
= I gained ”10 kg” in one year.
While 1) is just telling  the fact,  2) shows more emotion. We can tell the speaker is annoyed
by the fact that she/he gained 10 kg.

When you get 10,000 yen from someone, you say,

Ex. 3)1万円、もらった。(neutral)

= Ichiman en moratta.

= I got 10,000 yen

But if you feel 10,000 yen is a lot of money, you say,

Ex. 4) 一万円もらった。  !JYANE!

= Ichimanen mo moratta

=I got 10,000 yen. (Yay! )

The listener can tell you think 10,000 is a lot and you are probably happy.

If something costs you 10,000 yen, you say

Ex. 5) 一万円かかった

= Ichimanen kakatta.

= It cost 10,000 yen

This sentence is very neutral and there is no emotion attached. But if you think that was too expensive, you say

Ex. 6) 一万円かかった !ase!

= Ichiman en mo kakatta.

= That cost me 10,000 yen. (How expensive!)

And we can tell it is too expensive for you.

Other examples using to emphasize the amount or quantity.

Ex. もう2時間待った。

= Mou nijikan mo matta.

= I’ve been already waiting for “two hours”.

Ex. このお菓子美味しかったから5個食べちゃった。

= Kono okashi oishikattakara  goko mo tabechatta.

= This sweets were so good that I ate “five” of them.

Ex. もう卒業してから一年経ったの?時が経つのは早いね。

= Mou sotsugyou shite kara ichinen mo tatta no? Toki ga tatsu no wa hayaine.

= It has already passed one year since we graduated? Time flies, huh?

Ex. テキーラを3杯飲んだら二日酔いになるよ。

= Tekiira wo sanbai mo nonda kara futukayoi ni naruyo.

= If you have three shots of tequila, you will get a hangover.

!star! In negative sentences :

Ex. この車に6人乗れないよ。

= Kono kuruma ni rokunin no norenai yo.

= This car won’t hold “six people”.

Ex. もう彼女に三日会っていない。

= Mou kanojo ni mikka mo atte inai.

= I haven’t seen her (or my girlfriend) for “three days”.

Ex. 一晩で2冊読めない。

= Hitoban de nisatsu mo yomenai.

= I can’t read two books in one night.

Now instead of saying ” 全然(=zenzen)/ 全く(=mattaku) 〜ない(=nai), you can use the following expressions.

:n:  + counter unit + + negative sentence

It means “not even one ~”/ “not to do ~ at all” / “without doing something at all”
and has a function of emphasizing the word which comes before , “not even”

:maggie-small: From the picture above :


= Nekogo wa hitokoto mo hanasemasen.

= I can’t speak a word of Cat language.

:rrrr: 一言= hitokoto = one word +

:rrrr: not even one word

I will show you other examples.

一滴= いってき= itteki = one drop

+ = not even one drop

Ex. お酒は一滴飲めません。

( can’t even drink a drop of alcohol)

= Osake wa itteki mo nomemasen.

= I can’t drink alcohol at all.

Ex. 今月は雨が一滴降らない。

(without a drop of rain)

= Kongetsu wa ame ga itteki mo furanai.

= It doesn’t rain at all this month.

一曲= いっきょく= ikkyoku = one song

+ も 

:rrrr: not even one song

Ex. 知っている曲が一曲ない。

= Shitte irukyoku ga ikkyoku mo nai.

= I don’t even know one song. (I don’t know any songs.)

一人= ひとり= hitori = one person

:rrrr: nobody


= Watashi no machi ni wa nihonjin ga hitori mo inai.

= There is no Japanese in our town.

一口= ひとくち= hitokuchi = one bite

= not even one bite

Ex. お腹が一杯で一口食べられない。
= Onaka ga ippai de hitokuchi mo taberarenai.
= I am full and can’t eat another bite.

一言=ひとこと= hitokoto = one word

= not even one word


= Kinou kara kare to hitokoto mo hanashite inai.

= I haven’t talked to him at all since yesterday.

Ex. 一言しゃべらないで下さい。

= Hitokoto mo shaberanai de kudasai.

= Please don’t say a word.

一歩= いっぽ = ippo = one step


:rrrr: not even one step

Ex. 昨日は一歩家から出なかった。

= Kinou wa ippo mo ie kara denakatta.

= I didn’t go out at all yesterday.

一問= いちもん= ichiomon = one question

:rrrr: not even one question


= Ichimon mo kotaenai

= not answer even one question

一台= いちだい= ichidai = one machine, vehicle


:rrrr: Not even one car, motorcycle, machine, etc.

Ex. 駐車場に車が一台ない。

= Chuushajou ni kurumaga iichidai mo nai.

= There is no cars in the parking lot.

一睡= いっすい= issui = one “sleep”

:rrrr: not even one “sleep” = a wink

Ex. 昨夜は一睡していない。

= Sakuya wa issui mo shiteinai.

= I didn’t sleep at all last night. / I didn’t sleep a wink last night.

一銭= いっせん= issen = one cent

:rrrr: not even a dime


= Issen mo okane wo tsukawanai.

= not to spend a penny.


You also use (=mo) after  interrogative pronouns such as

* (=nani) any, no ~  (anything, nothing)

* (=dare) anybody, nobody

*どれ (=dore) any, no ~

*どこ (=doko) anywhere/ nowhere

to emphasize.

Ex. 私の気持ちをわかってくれない。

= Daremo watashi no kimochi wo wakatte kurenai.

= Nobody understands how I feel.


= Isogashikute shukudai wo nani mo shite inai.

= I have been so busy that I haven’t done any homework yet.

Ex. 東京の彼から何の連絡ない。

= Toukyou no kare kara nan no rennraku mo nai.

= I haven’t heard from him in Tokyo at all.

Ex. お盆はどこのホテルいっぱいだ。

= Obon wa doko no hoteru mo ippai da.

=Every hotel is booked out during obon holidays.



= Obon wa doko mo ippai da.

= All the places are  full during obon holidays.


maggie-senseiマギー先生より= MaggieSensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

 残念ながら!? 猫の友達は一匹いません。
= Zannen nagara!? neko no tomodachi wa ippiki mo imasen.
= Unfortunately!? I don’t have any cat friends.

Can you think of other examples?