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女性は「火葬できる日を聞くと、いちばん早くても亡くなってから11日あとでした。

From this NHK easy article

What is the meaning of ても here? Is it like "Even the earliest (date).."

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1 Answer 1

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Is it like "Even the earliest (date).."

Yes it is. Except it's not 早く + ても, but 早くて + も. The 早くて is the te-form of 早い, and も is just the particle も meaning "also, even" as in 私人間です(I'm also a human) or 彼できない(Even he cannot do it).

A te-form is needed when you connect a clause to は or も to discuss it as the topic, as seen in the following examples, normal 終止形 would not work and the te-form is required.

(Copied from my previous answers)

全部食べもいい ❌ 全部食べもいい ⭕️
行かなはダメ ❌ 行かなくてはダメ ⭕️

Therefore:

いちばん早も亡くなって... ❌
いちばん早くても亡くなって... ⭕️

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  • hmm I think verb teform + も is not equivalent to noun + も as the answer seems to imply. 彼も -> 食べるのも / 彼でも -> 食べても Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 3:25
  • @FelipeChavesdeOliveira I'm not saying it's equivalent, I'm only saying that it's the same も
    – dvx2718
    Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 4:01
  • The first paragraph's examples make it seem like it. Making a correlation of noun + も with verb + ても, could even make one think that 食べてができない is a correct structure. That is why 彼でもできない would be a better comparison. "A te-form is needed when you connect a clause to は or も to discuss it as the topic" This also sounds half-correct to me, since there are other ways to do it as well. The most common way to introduce a verb as a topic is nominalizing it with の or こと, right?! Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 4:45
  • @FelipeChavesdeOliveira Yep, but if you use の or こと then the structure becomes noun+は/も, the grammatical structure is no longer verb+は/も. Also to explain myself more clearly, the first examples only serve to show that the も in OP's question is simply the も-particle, and that ても is not a single word but it should be 早くて + particle も.
    – dvx2718
    Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 4:48

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