In Mushibugyou there is this sentence:


The speaking character sees a giant mosquito (giant insects are common in the setting), thinks to be in a dream, and that he says that sentence; while I guess it means something along the lines of "It's a realistic dream, an insect close to the real thing", I can't understand what もさもあろうという means; I tried looking online and on my grammars, but while I found some construction with さも, I'm not sure it's the same thing, and how that construction works.

1 Answer 1


Yes, さもあろう is can be considered as a variant of さもあらん or さもありなん.

さ (然 in kanji) is an archaic equivalent of そう ("so", "this way") in modern Japanese. も is a particle.

あろう is the "volitional form" of ある. A volitional form can have an inferential meaning, although this usage is becoming old-fashioned.

なん in ありなん is explained in this question:

All in all, あるだろう, あろう, あらん and ありなん all have a similar meaning.

Practically, さもあらん and さもありなん should be learned by rote as a set phrase without worrying about its archaic grammar. さもあろう is not really a common set phrase, so you have to get used to the inferential usage of the (よ)う-form, which is a little old but still part of the modern grammar.

  • I'm still not sure about the sentence as a whole: if さもあらん means "it's probably so", does it mean "It's a realistic dream with also an insect that was probably (like) the real thing"? I'm not sure about the sentence structure, and its general meaning.
    – Mauro
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 14:14
  • 1
    @Mauro The sentence means, "This dream feels so realistic that it makes me think that even real 蟲 must be like this". So it looks like this speaker hasn't seen a real 蟲 yet. Does this match the story?
    – naruto
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 16:41
  • 1
    It does, thanks.
    – Mauro
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 15:15

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