= Sakana demo nihongo no sensei ni naremasu ka?
= Even a fish can be a Japanese teacher?
We are your guest teachers for today, Sakana (Fish) Sensei!
We are going to teach you how to use でも ( = demo)
We will teach you the basic usages and also the one that may not cover in your text book.
:pinkcandy2: How to use:
There are a few ways to say “but / however” in Japanese.
けれども ( = keredomo)
けど ( = kedo)
が ( = ga)
だが ( = daga)
しかし ( = shikashi)
しかしながら ( = shikashinagara), etc.
Unlike けれども ( = keredomo) 、けど ( = kedo) 、が ( = ga), you can’t connect sentence with でも ( = demo) .
I am busy today but I am free tomorrow.
= Kyou wa isogashii keredomo, ashita wa hima desu.
= Kyou wa isogashii ashita wa hima desu.
= Kyou wa isogashii ga, ashita wa hima da.
You can’t connect sentences with でも( = demo).
= Kyou wa isogashii demo, ashita wa hima desu.
You say something first and then start a new sentence with でも ( = demo).
= Kyou wa isogashii desu. Demo ashita wa hima desu.
You can also start a sentence with しかし ( = shikashi) / だが ( = daga) but compared to them, でも ( = demo) is much more casual.
しかし ( = shikashi) / だが ( = daga) is used more in writing.
でも ( = demo) is for casual conversation.
It would be unnatural to use しかし ( = shikashi) in conversation.
今日は忙しいです。しかし明日は暇です。(Not natural in conversation.)
= Kyou wa isogashii desu. Shikashi ashita wa hima desu.
今日は忙しいです。だが明日は暇です。(Also not natural.)
= Kyou wa isogashii desu. Daga ashiat wa hima desu.
しかし ( = shikashi) / だが ( = daga) are used for more formal writing/speech.
= Intaanetto wa jouhou wo atsumeru noni totemo benrida. Shikashi netto jou no subete no jouhou ga tadashii to wa kagiranai.
= Internet is very convenient for gathering information. However, the information on the internet is not always correct.
(1) A is ~ . But B is ~ (Showing the contrast/something paradoxical)
= Haaha wa watashi ni kibishii. Demo otouto niwa yasashii .
= My mom is strict with me. But she is sweet to my little brother.
= Kyou wa ii otenki dattane. Demo ashita wa ame ga furu mitai dayo.
= The weather was lovely today. But I heard it was going to rain tomorrow.
= Kanojo wa kirei dayo. Demo seikaku ga chotto ne…
= She is beautiful. But she has some problems with her personality.
(*ちょっと( = chotto): You finish the sentence with ちょっと( = chotto) to avoid straight forward way to say 性格が悪い ( = seikaku ga warui) to have a bad personality.)
= Nihonoshoku wa suki desu. Demo nattou wa nigate desu.
= I like Japanese food. But I am not fond of Natto*. (*fermented soybeans)
= Shiai ni makechatta ne. Demo minna yoku ganbatta yo.
= It’s too bad that we lost the game. But everybody did their best.
(2) When you object/talk back to someone/ deny what someone said
Haha = Hayaku nenasai.
Mother = Go to bed already!
Kodomo = Demo, mada shukudai ga owate nai mon.
Child = But I haven’t done my homework yet.
Note: Children or young girls use もん ( = mon) suffix when they make their point.
Ex. A: 「今日は割り勘ね。」
= Kyou wa warikan ne.
= We split the check today.
= Demo, konoaida, ohiru wo ogotte kurerutte ittajenai.
= But the other day you said you were going to treat me to lunch.
(3) When you add more information to the previous sentence and don’t just negate it.
= Inu ga suki desu. Demo neko mo suki desu.
= I like dogs. But I also like cats.
= Kare no kimochi mo yoku wakarimasu. Demo kare ni wa motto tsuyoku natte hoshii desu.
= I understand how he feels. But I want him to become stronger.
Ex. A: 「やっとケーキが出来た！」
= Yatto keiki ga dekita!
= I finally finished the cake!
= Demo motto namakuriimu wo noseta hou ga oishiku naru yo.
= But it will be more delicious if you add more whipped cream.
Ex. A: 「お腹いっぱい！もうこれ以上食べられないよ。」
= Onaka ippai! Mou kore ijou taberarenai yo.
= I am stuffed. I can’t eat anymore!
= Demo dezaato wa betsubaratte iu yo.
= But you know we say “there is always room for dessert”
Ex. A: 「あきらくん、りさと結婚するんだって。」
= Akira-kun, Risa to kekkon surun datte.
= I heard Akira will get married to Risa.
= Demo tsukiatte ita kanojo wa dounatta no?
= But what happened to the girl he was dating?
Ex. A: 「ナオミがいなくなると寂しくなるな。」
= Naomi ga inaku naruto samishiku naruna.
= I am going to miss you when we graduate.
= Demo sugu mata aeru yo.
= But we can see each other soon!
2. ~ and so on / and something: When you suggest something bring up some examples.
* noun + (particle) + でも ( = demo) : something like ~
For example, when you offer someone specifically a cup of tea, you say:
= Ocha nomanai?
= Do you want some tea?
But if you say:
= Ocha demo nomanai?
= Would you like some tea or something?
It sounds softer and gives the listener some other choices. Would you like tea or some other drinks?
= Tsugi no shuumatsu, Kyouto ni demo ikanai?
= Do you want to go to Kyoto or somewhere next weekend?
= Hima dakara geemu demo shiyou kana.
= I am bored. I guess I am going to play a game or something.
Ex. お腹がすいたの？ たこやきでも食べる？
= Onakaga suita no? Takoyaki demo taberu?
＝ Are you hungry? Would you like takoyaki (octopus balls) or something?
= Hitori gurashi ga samishii nara neko demo kattara?
= If you feel lonely living by yourself, why don’t you get a cat?
= Nerarenakattara hon demo yondara?
= If you can’t sleep, why don’t you read a book or something?
3. Even ~
* noun + でも ( = demo)
= Maggie Sensei no saito de wa sakana demo gesuto sensei ni naremasu.
= Even fish can be a guest teacher on Maggie Sensei’s site.
= Shukudai wa, asatte demo ii desu ka?
= Do you mind if I turn in my homework the day after tomorrow?
Note: For more usage of でもいい ( = demo ii), check out this lesson!
= Kore demo ganbatte iru tsumori dayo.
= literal translation (Even this, I think I am doing my best.)
= It may not seem good enough but I am doing my best.
4. AでもBでも = A demo B demo = even A and B
= Bouennkai niwa, okashi demo nomimono demo sukina mono wo nandemo motte kite kudasai.
＝ Please bring snacks, drinks or whatever you like to the year end party.
= Kono ryouri ni wa mayoneezu demo kechappu demo nandemo sukina mono wo tsukete kudasai.
= You can put mayo, ketchup or anything you want for this dish.
= Kyou demo ashita demo ii kara juuden koodo katte kitene.
= It doesn’t matter whether you do it today or tomorrow but get a charging cable for me, OK?
5. verb te-form Vて ( = te) + でも( = demo) at all costs, by all means/you want to do something even doing something extreme. In order to achieve something, you even do something extreme.:expressing one’s strong desire or will
It sounds stronger than Vても( =temo) / でも(=demo)
= Tomodachi ni uso wo tuite demo kare ni aitakatta.
= Even I lie to my friends, I wanted to see him.
(It shows stronger will than うそをついても( = uso wo tsuitemo)
＝ Tetsuya de benkyou shite demo kono shiken ni wa ukaranai to ikenai.
= Even I study all night long, I have to pass this exam.
= Nanto shite demo chiketto ga hoshii.
= No matter what it takes, I want the ticket.
6. Any ~
How to form:
* interrogative pronoun + (particle) + でも ( = demo): any ~ /whatever, whichever, whoever, where
Ex. A: 「明日、どこに行きたい？」
= Ashita, doko ni ikitai ?
= Where do you want to go tomorrow?
= Dokodemo ii yo.
= Anywhere is fine with me.
= Konna shigoto wa dareni demo dekiru yo.
= Anybody can do this job.
* You can also say 誰でもできる( = daredemo dekiru)
In case you wonder, you sometimes use a particle に ( = ni) with potential form or a verb which has a potential meaning.
私が出来る= watashi ga dekiru
= Watashi ni dekiru koto nara nandemo yarimasu.
= If it’s anything I am able to do, then I’ll do it.
マギーはわかる ( = Maggie wa wakaru)
= Maggie ni wakaru kana.
= I wonder if Maggie understands.
For more usages of: interrogative word + particle (+ verb + ) ても( = temo ) ／でも ( = demo)
check out this lesson!
マギー先生より= Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei
= Sakana sensei, arigatou!
= Thank you Sakana-Sensei!
= Motto nihongo wo benkyou shitakattara watashi no Twitter demo Patreon demo forrou shite ne.
= If you want to study more, follow me on Twitter, Patreon and something.
I REALLY appreciate your support! サポートありがとう！ !CHECKHEART!
My supporters can access audio files for many lessons on my Patreon page and many many special mini lessons and quiz.
Audio Files for this lesson
wtf…there’s more use for 「に」?!! ＠＿＠ I just wanted to know if けれども is more formal than けど. Is it? @_@
Yes, けど is a casual way to say けれども
Check this lesson if you want to learn more.
I was wondering if でも and まで ,”even”, are interchangeable with nouns? Also what’s the difference?
I have まで lesson and gave several usages of “even” in No. 5 this lesson
And they will all sound unnatural if you use でも instead of まで
* You use まで is used for something extreme /something unexpected
この漢字は子供でも読める (X まで） Reading the kanji is not that extreme.
But when you express someone can do something on top of something, you can use まで
My little brother was so hungry that he even ate my leftover.
on top of something even ~
(Not just the country A but also B banned the export.)
Aah I see! ありがとうございました！
sensei i have one doubt about this
How can we differentiate betwwen(OR) and (EVEN) in the context of Noun+でも.please explain how we can understand whether the speaker is using でも as even or or?
why でも has different meaning like but and or . Is it just a random or have some logical sense.
As always thanks for doing great work 🙏
Noun + でも in the usage of “even” and “or”
You can tell by the context. I will show you one example.
AでもBでも = either A or B (bring up more than two thins)
Either 🍎 or 🍌 is fine with me.
~でも+ verb potential form : even
Even small children can do this.
Not just でも but also many Japanese particles, conjunctions have many different meanings.
For example, から = from, because, made of/from ~ , etc
This is a lot to take in… But the pieces will fall together eventually. I hope.
I know this lesson is long but it doesn’t mean you have to learn everything. Just get some information you need and come back here again if you want. 😉
Thank you for sharing all of these lessons with us! Your teaching is easy to understand and is a really big help on my journey to learning the Japanese language.
I have a question in regards to the usage of ”でも” in this sentence:
I’m not sure how to translate this, can you help me?
I guess I will go to the park once or something.
As it said in this lesson, by adding でも make the sentence sounds softer and implies there are some other choices, in this case, going somewhere else or spending time in some other ways.
I see. Thank you very much, Sensei!
You’re welcome! :)
Thank you for the lesson.
Only skim through it, but I think I know the gist of it (maybe XP)
My question is : 手札は少しでも多くでもあったほうがいいのだ。
In this case, でも here means something like, even a little or more should be better to have?
I think the sentence should be
and it means “as many as possible”
No wonder it feels kinda weird..
Thank you for the answer sensei!
You’re welcome! :)
Can you help me out?, 復習時でも良い, meaning please, thanks.
I don’t know the context but it means “You can do that (whatever topics you are talking about) when you review.”
Thanks for this lesson! For some reason I really struggle with でも when it’s not the “but” meaning :)
I really hope it is clear how to use でも now. Feel free to ask me questions anytime! :)
Hello Maggie sensei !
There are two sentences where I am not sure of understanding demo correctly
「とりあえず，先生と基礎練習でもしかない」 and 「２秒でも早く寝ってください」
Can you help, please ?
I made a mistake in the first sentence, it was「基礎練習でもやるしかない」
There is no choice but doing the basics (basic practice/exercises) with my teacher for now.
This でも brings up an example what you can do for now.
Please go to bed as soon as possible. (literal translation “even two seconds earlier” This でも means “even”)
Hello, Maggie Sensei!
I found out about your website yesterday, and I am 100% in love with it. This is probably the best of the best that I have ever come across when it comes to teaching Japanese. The amount and depth of the knowledge you have, the simple and easy-to-understand way you write, the contexts and examples you create, everything is just PERFECT!
Greetings from Brazil!
Hi Lucas U
Your message made me SO HAPPY and I am jumping up and down. ☺️
Hope you visit this site again and again.
Can you help me out?
Is the particle で in お茶でも飲まない？the one from である?
Literally, the question says “even being tea you don’t drink (beverages)?
It will be better to think でも as one particle in this case.
But there are cases that だ/である → also で+ も
彼は父だ / 彼は父である。
(Beside being ~ ) He is also a father.
Your lessons are really helpful! I hope you continue teaching us. I just came here in Japan last January 24 and I’ll be living here for a year. I’m lucky that I get to work here in this country without any JLPT qualifications but I really want to learn. this website is really helping me Thank you so much Maggie sensei!
I’m so grateful to hear that you think my lesson are helpful.
Hope you come back here often! Ganbatte!
Maggie Sensei, how do you say “something of” in Japanese?
Your grandmother is something of a poet.
Your perfomance in the game was something of a disappointment.
Your grandmother is something of a poet.
In this case “ちょっとした” works
something of a disappointment.
Thank you very much for this lesson, as well as for your other lessons too!
This site is now one of my top resources for learning Japanese. Gonna use it a lot hehe
Happy to hear you study my lessons!
I see. I was wondering if there are any differences between みたいな and って 感じ at the end of the sentence. And when they are used both one after the other みたいな って 感じ?
Ah your example sentence?
店員みたいなって感じる… should be 店員みたいだなって感じる = I feel like I am a clerk/waiter/waitress.
That’s a very common pattern.
Dear Maggie Sensei,
I was wondering if “demo” (no. 2) and “toka” are used interchangeably.
Possible but just remember that usage of とか is very colloquial.
４） in the usage How to use とか
Thank you very much for your help!💕
Recently I started watching Japanese shows with subtitles to pick up some conversational phrases and patterns, and immediately got confused with a number of sentence finals that don’t change the meaning as it is but, maybe, add some nuances, I don’t know…
Here I mean tte kanji, mitai na, toka, teka, etc.
In the Internet I found the speaker uses tte kanji when they don’t want to be conclusive, like “I feel that way. Am I right?” I also read “mitai na” is also a softener at the end of the sentence. Are they kind of the same?
I also came across sentences with both of them one after the other: “… mitai na tte kanji”…
Yes, 感じ is one of very common way to finish the sentence in a vague way among young people.
When you want to avoid using the straightforward statement, you add 感じ
Thanks Maggie Sensei, your lessons great as always! do you have online class in Telegram or something?
You’re very welcome! Hope you learn something from this lesson!
(Online class using Telegram?????? 😳）
Maggie Sensei always coming with great lessons!
Thanks so much by the good job!
Thank YOU for your first comment for this lesson! :)