I’ve understand the construction is verb(dictionary form) + ともなく To mean did something unintentionally

But the I’m just a little confused when it comes to interrogative words I know the construction is Interrogative word + particle + ともなく

I am having trouble with these words I want to know what they mean since it seem like they have similar meaning どこからともなく どこへともなく いつからともなく

  • Is there something regarding ともなし you wanted to ask?
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Mar 2 at 16:44
  • Yeah just how to use it with interrogative words and what do the words -どこからともなく -どこへともなく -いつからともなく mean
    – Wesley
    Commented Mar 2 at 16:46
  • And is ともなし the same as ともなく
    – Wesley
    Commented Mar 2 at 16:47
  • dictionary.goo.ne.jp/word/en/…
    – sundowner
    Commented Mar 2 at 23:12
  • "And is ともなし the same as ともなく" - this point is purely grammatical. This なし is just an older form of ない (still seen in many expressions), and なく is the continuative form. Commented Mar 3 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


ともなく practically adds I-don't-know/nobody-knows/not-particularly.

  • どこからともなく - from nobody-knows-where / from nowhere
  • どこへともなく - to nobody-knows-where
  • いつからともなく - since nobody-knows-when / since I-don't-remember-when

Similarly なぜともなく=for no reason etc.

Slightly more grammatically a longer version would be どこからということもない.

First note the construction ...ということもない/ということはない, which means It's not that .... So どこからともない would mean It's not that the thing came from a particular place (as far as I know), where the thing is understood from the context. The ending ともなく makes it adverbial, meaning Not that I know where the thing came from..., for which from nowhere would work in most cases.

As for ともなし, it is used as a nominal phrase as commented. どこからともなく is equivalent to どこからともなしに, どこへともなく to どこへともなしに etc.

  • 2
    You have not described ともなし, which would be classical form of modern ともない, but in modern usage なし remains but as noun, and is used adverbially with に: ともなしに.
    – Arfrever
    Commented Mar 3 at 2:59

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