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

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 も ( = mo)
Many of you already know, you use も ( = 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

Ex. 昨日から彼と一言話していない。

= 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 も ( = mo) after  interrogative pronouns such as

*何  ( = 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?

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    1. @Rodney
      Oh sorry. I didn’t pay attention to your sentence, 6語も because I thought you were making a joke.

      一言も話せない is an idiomatic expression
      I can’t speak even one word = I can’t speak at all (idiom)

      日本語は= as for Japanese (topic marker)

      So the literal meaning is “as for Japanese, I can’t speak at all.”

      1. I know prob 500 Japanese words n i know all the main particles but i still have problems with は an が
        i can do small talk lol……
        both are correct?

        1. Both are correct, however: 日本語は話せません is more natural and it implies contrast, so you can translate this like: “(as for Japanese) I don’t speak Japanese… (however I speak for example English very well)”. That’s the aspect of contrast which part. は implies here.
          Don’t worry, after 5 years of learning Japanese the problem, whether to choose は or が will disappear.


          1. 助けてくれてありがとうございます!分かりやすいです。
            ahh ok so itd be like
            speaker A:日本語で話せる?
            speaker B:いいえ、日本語は話せないんです。英語を使ってくれますか?

            (sorry) for so many questions

          2. @天人
            Thank you for helping Rodney


            Here is the nuance difference.
            日本語を話す to speak Japanese ( focusing on the language, Japanese.)
            日本語で話す to communicate in Japanese. / to talk in Japanese

            Can we talk in Japanese?

            Can you speak Japanese?

            speaker B: 英語を使ってくれますか?→ more natural ways to say that is…英語で話してくれますか?/ 英語でもいいですか?/ 英語でいいでsか?

          3. いいえ、日本語は話せないんです。英語を使ってくれますか? => 「いいえ、日本語は話せないんです。でも英語でいいんです。」 sounds better.

  1. 日本語で6語も話せないんだよ。そんな難しい文を分かるもんか!

    most Japanese i know is by intuition lol from anime,Japanese tv shows,music,etc….,,
    i dont even kno what もん really is lol sounds cheeky



      1. I realized i was supposed to used ga but before i learned ga i always put o wakaru,bad habit.
        Ah,i forgot about nante>_< Thank you for your help! 感謝している。

    1. @Kaede

      Hi Kaede,
      そんな噂(うわさ)もあるけれど = Sonna uwasa mo aru keredo
      This も is not “about”. “also”
      There is also a such a rumor.
      Or simply emphasizing what comes before. uwasa

  2. Hello, Maggie sensei. What does も mean in the following sentence? It goes before a verb, doesn’t it? And after を. I’m a bit confused about its placement.

    1. @SandaraKiss


      火影を超える= to surpass 火影
      →emphasizing the meaning
      どの (or どんな) 火影をも超える= to surpass any 火影

      Other example
      問題を解く= to solve a problem
      →emphasizing the meaning

  3. Hi Maggie sensei!

    First, I would just like to give huge props for putting out such amazing content as you do and taking your free time to teach others, huge respect!

    Regarding my question, as I’ve understood “も” can be used to to “emphasize” hence some meanings will translate to “even” in english.
    For instance as in this lesson:

    一問も答えない => not answer even one question

    and my question here is, “でも” also has the nuance of “even” and can also be used in the same fashion to emphasize, right?

    So how would this sentence differ from the one above: 一問でも答えない

    In a case like this, which of “も” and “でも” has a deeper emphasize? or is the meaning even the same to begin with?

    If I get to guess, “でも” sounds more negative in my ears, more like not answer EVEN ONE while “も” sounds more like not answer ONE, but I don’t know :3

    Sorry for asking of so much without being able to give much back but I would really appreciate some more deeper comparison of “も” and “でも” when it comes to emphasizing. よろしく!〜 !DANCING! !beermug! 

    Though I am aware of some grammar points where only “も” is allowed to emphasize if I’ve understood things right, words like より(も) 幸いに(も) and so on..
    Thanks again for your awesomeness, your lessons have really helped me throughout my studies! :D

    1. Hi William

      First you sent me a question twice (one of the questions went to SPAM mail folder for some reason) so I deleted the shorter one.

      Thank you for your kind message!! That is very nice of you!
      OK, let me answer your question.

      For this particular sentence, I would use も.

      But for example, this difference is clear,

      私もできない I can’t do that either.
      私でもできない Even I can’t do that.

      も = also / neigher
      でも= (not) even

      Let’s compare the following.

      a) 子供も読める本 
      b) 子供でも読める本

      they both can be translated as “a book that even children can read” but as you say b) emphasizes 子供 more.

      1. Thank you so much for your fast response!!

        I’m sorry for sending multiple comments, it’s just for some reason when I commented and hit the “post” comment button the site would just go blank for me so I never knew if my comments made it through or not :3

        Anyways thank you again, I think I get the difference now !happyface! Have a good day! !DANCING!

        1. @William

          You’re very welcome, William.
          Oh please don’t apologize. The comment filter doesn’t work properly sometime and one of your message went to a Spam folder for some reason. That happens a lot here.
          Anyway, have a good day! :)

  4. Hi Maggie sensei!


    I’d like to ask you about お盆はどこのホテルもいっぱいだ。
    May I also say: お盆はどのホテルもいっぱいだ。Using どの+Noun+も?

    About instead 忙しくて宿題を何もしていない,
    May I also say: 忙しくて何もの宿題をしていない

    One last question (and please, forgive me for the trouble): may I say
    このノートに色々な鉛筆何本かで書けます。 (I can write on this agenda with some different pencils)

    Thanks a lot for your help and your effort put in this great work of yours!

    1. @Daniele

      1) Yes, you can also say お盆はどのホテルもいっぱいだ。
      2) No. You don’t say 忙しくて何もの宿題をしていない
      3) You can say 何本かの違う鉛筆で書くことができます。

  5. Hello Maggie,

    Is it possible to use も、with ぐらい、くらい?
    It took me around 5 years!! 5年ぐらいもかかったよ!

  6. Can someone here explain the usage of も in this sentence:

    I know what the sentence means, I just don’t fully understand how も is used here.
    It’s from the old novel Musashi, so it could be literary or outdated usage of it.

  7. Hi sensei!

    I would like to ask you about the function of も in the following sentence
    For context, the person heard something loud coming from a locker, thinking that something is in there and shook it, then the sentence pops up)

    What exactly does the も do in the sentence? I don’t think the function described in this lesson is the one, since there is no “number”
    My translation is “nothing (no response) in particular”, but I think I completely ignored the も

    I would also like to ask another function of も, which I read from another website (but can only recall a little bit of the information) that it “compares”
    I think the も in Danny G’s question (topmost) has the same function, in that it compares everyone in the world (only a few goes to church on Sunday mornings and others don’t). Is this correct? If not, can you tell me if も even “compares”?

    I would be really grateful if you can help me, and thank you for the great lesson :-P

    1. @Nazaka
      Hi Nazaka
      Ah I should have added this usage, huh?
      You use も in the following cases to emphasize.

      There is NO ~~

      NOBODY does ~ / There is NOBODY

      ANY ~ isn’t/doesn’t ~

      Any ~ is/does ~

      I just added the information in the lesson now.
      As for your other question, I will get back to you later. I gotta go now. Sorry!

      OK, I am back and read your question again but I don’t understand what you meant by も as comparison.
      If you find an example sentence, please let me know.

      1. Thanks for the reply sensei!
        I completely get it now after reading your example and explanations!

        It’s alright, please take your time!

  8. If I can ask, what does 日曜日の朝に教会に行く人もいる。 mean than? Specifically もいる. I hear it translated as “some” but I’m not sure if it relates to this lesson.

    1. @Danny G

      Hello Danny
      emphasize the part 日曜日の朝に教会に行く人
      It means “also” or “even”
      There are even people who go to church on Sunday morning.
      There are also people who go to church on Sunday morning.

  9. こにちわ マギーせんせい,
    Can I use も in this way:
    もいちねん (one more year)


  10. Hi Maggie sensei!

    Is “mo” always only used to emphasize the amount or can it also mean “more than” or “less than”? Or is it “motto” that is used for that?

    Does “mo” always go with the word that precedes it or can it sometimes modify the word that follows it?

    Do you also have a lesson on “mou”? Does “mou” always modify the word that follows it or can it also be placed after the word? How do I know whether to use “mo”, “mou” or “motto”?

    1. @etoile38

      Hello etoile,
      Ah, OK…I think you are talking about the following cases.

      Ex. このワインは千円もしません。
      = This wine doesn’t cost (even) one thousand yen.

      In you rephrase it, it is possible to say
      *This wine costs less than 1,000 yen.
      But the second translation doesn’t involve any feelings and it just tells the fact that the wine costs less than 1,000 yen.

      I can’t think of good examples right now but
      も does emphasizes the word that precedes it but the preceded word with も modifies what comes after.
      Ex. 500人も集まった。
      = Gohyakunin mo atsumatta.
      も emphasizes “500 people” and modifies the following verb, 集まった(=atsumatta)

      も, もう, もっと are all different. もっと

      I don’t have a lesson on もう(=mou) but will make one for you if I have a chance. (Right now I have a long list of request lessons.)

      もう(=mou) = already, expressing the feelings that something is enough
      もっと(=motto) =more

      You can not replace も with もう・もっと in none of my example sentences.

  11. Thank you for this lesson Maggie-sensei!

    Although I’m still getting confused
    In this sentence, 満開の桜を一週間も見ることができない
    is the speaker giving emphasis on 一週間 too?

  12. Hi! :D Thank you so much for your hard work! It’s great! Can I ask you something? In the following sentence:


    what is the point of ”も”? Is it something like ”Whichever language in the world, I keep searching and the nuance seems not correct”.

    1. @Ereki

      Hello Ereki!
      It’s from an AKB song,  ハートエレキ, right?
      This も means “even if”
      But in this case, you can translate it something like…
      Whatever word you found in the world must have difference nuance.

  13. Awesome lesson, マギー先生!

    I’m not sure about the function of で in this sentence: お腹が一杯で一口も食べられない。

    Is this で short for なので (because)?

    So the literal translate would be: “Because my stomach is full, I can’t eat another bite.” (Is this correct?)

    1. @Marianne

      Hi Marianne,
      Great! I can see you’ve been studying hard!

      で has many functions and one of them is to indicate a reason causally.
      You can replace it with なので

      = Because I am full I can’t eat another bite.

      I would say で is lighter and なので indicates the reason stronger.
      That’s why I translated it as “and”
      (なので = because ~~ / 〜で = (reason) so../ and…/because )


      1. Sorry, but I have another question: How is も used in this sentence?


        I got it from the なんて lesson. I believe it’s just for emphasis, but I’m not entirely sure. Are there any patterns/rules for using this kind of も?

        1. @Marianne

          Yes, it is to emphasize.
          OK, I will show you the pattern.

          →(stronger feeling.)

          Ex. 宿題なんてやりたくない。
          = I don’t want to do my homework.
          →stronger feeling.
          Ex. 宿題なんてやりたくもない。

          1. ありがとう、マギー先生!


          2. @Marianne

            どういたしまして!(マギー先生のサイトなんていつも使い止みたくもない^^→??? you wanted to say you don’t even want to stop using my site?)

          3. I basically tried to say, “I never want to stop using Maggie Sensei’s site!” with LOTS of emphasis. I guess it didn’t work out like I thought it would, eh? XD 拙い日本語ごめんなさい! >_<

    1. @obakasan000
      It is originally “けれども(=keredomo)”

      けれども keredomo (formal)
      →けれど keredo (less formal)
      → けどkado (more casual)

  14. thank you so much dear maggie sensei. yes mam’ n_n. you may call me with that name. you’re so thoughtful explaining all the possible answers. how i wish i could have an internet connection in our home (so that i’ll be always updated). good night dear maggie sensei. n_n

  15. good day dear maggie sensei and everyone. i dont if this is the right thread for this question. i am having confusion for this words.
    does the same principle (mo as the one that emphasize) also applies in konna ni mo
    does that mean konna ni kawaii and konna ni mo kawaii are the same but konna ni mo has emphasazing power

    and do these two sentencces have the same exact meaning:
    konna ni mo kono omoi (feeling)
    konna ni mo omoi

    thank you so much in advance dear maggie sensei and everyone.

    1. @obakasan000

      Hello again, (Should I call you “orikousan000”?)

      こんなに<こんなにも (こんなにも is stronger. As you said も has a function of emphasizing)

      a) 彼の妹がこんなにかわいい女の子だとは知らなかった。
      = I didn’t know his sister was this cute.
      b) 彼の妹がこんなにもかわいい女の子だとは知らなかった。(stronger)
      = I didn’t know his sister was THIS cute.

      konna ni mo kono omoi (feeling)
      konna ni mo omoi

      I have to guess what you wanted to say using these words but for example
      a sentence like this?
      = Konnanimo kono omoi ni kurushimerareru nante…
      I had no idea I would suffer from this feeling this much.

      If so, your second sentence doesn’t have “この=kono” so it won’t specify the feeling so it won’t be the same.

      If you wanted to compare the sentences
      Konna ni kono omoi
      Konna nimo kono omoi
      the the later is stronger. (It emphasizes “this much” more.)

  16. Hi maggie, could you explain the use of -nari in adjectives as in the following sentence? You’ll help me a lot!


    1. Greetings, David!

      The ~なり used in 愛おしくなり has the same meaning as ~なって, so 愛おしくなり=愛おしくなって.
      1) 私の子どもはもう大きくなって、暗闇を恐れなくなった。 = 私の子どもはもう大きくなり、暗闇を恐れなくなりました。
      2) 返事が遅くなり、申し訳なく存じます。 = 返事が遅くなって、申し訳なく存じます。

      So as you can see the meaning is the same. However I think that なり is slightly more formal than なって. In everyday conversation, especially between friends, the ~て form (=なって) would be used.

      As for the translation: I sympathize with him, watching his preparations when he was spreading out his wetsuit on the old carpet in the hotel, so [/and] I made him a hot, dark coffee.
      However I’m not sure if my translation is correct because 愛おしい can mean: 1. 大事にして、かわいがりたくなるさま。 or 2. かわいそうだ。気の毒だ。 But I know someone, who will solve this problem^^

  17. Maggie先生、


    1. @よしや

      だって means “even” “also” / Also it emphasize the noun which comes before だって

  18. Thanks for the lesson~ I noticed this:

    [A and B are talking about a book.

    A : まだ半分も読み終えていない。

    = Mada kono hon hanbun mo yomioete inai.]

    There’s some text missing from the Japanese part or there’s some extra in the romanji. :) Not a big deal, but for a real beginner it may be confusing.

  19. Hi, thanks for the great blog and lessons!
    What is the meaning of し in NEWSも好きだし、嵐も好きだ。?

  20. Wow! I never realized until now how many different uses there were for も! This is definitely a useful lesson to use as a reference during my studies. ありがとうございます、マギー先生!^_^

    To the cute kitty: ニャー, ニャー!(Nice to meet you too!)


    1. @Remi Ayumi Lee

      Hi, Remi!
      Oh that was what she was saying. な〜んだ…I thought she was saying「マギーはかわいい❤」:)

  21. This lesson taught me so much!and I really love how you used NEWS in one of your examples! :D


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