Interrogative + も Posted by on Apr 23, 2010 in Grammar

The use of an interrogative + is interesting in that it has different meanings based on whether it’s used in affirmative sentences or negative sentences :

いつ (when) + = always, all the time

(1) 真弓の母はいつも忙しい = Mayumi’s mother is always busy

(まゆみ/真弓 = Mayumi. = possessive particle. はは/ = mother. = particle. いつも = always. いそがしい/忙しい = busy)

But いつ (when) + can also mean “never”

(2) 私は日曜日にいつも家にいない = I’m never home on Sundays

(わたし/私 = I. = particle. にちようび/日曜日 = Sunday. にいつも = never. いえ/家 = house. = particle. いない = not here)

どこ (where) + can mean everywhere

どこも同じですか = Is it the same everywhere?

(どこも = everywhere. おなじ/同じ = same. です = is. = question particle)

どこ (where) + can mean nowhere

どこも行くところがありません = I have nowhere to go

(どこも = nowhere. いく/行く = to go. ところ = place. = particle. ありません = have)

However, the word for “everyone” in the affirmative is not だれも, it’s actually みんな or みなさん. When used in negative sentences, “no one” will be だれも, which is a combination of だれ (who) and . When you want to be polite, you can use どなたも instead of だれも.

As a general rule, an interrogative + will mean things like, “everyone”, “always”, “everywhere” in affirmative sentences, but an interrogative + in negative sentences will mean, “no one”, “never”, “nowhere”.

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