In どうにも, what does the にも mean?

When I looked up definitions of the word, this にも appeared in the explanations as well:

  1. (他人は何と見ようと、そういう事は)どうであれ。
  2. 《後に打消しを伴って》ほかのどんな状態にも。「いくら頑張っても―ならない」。どうしようにも。どうしても。「―打開策が無い」

Is this a shortening of にしても?

I'm also a little confused about what exactly 「ほかのどんな状態にも」and「どうしようにも」mean.


1 Answer 1


Historically, にも works somewhat like an emphatic "quoting" expression similar to といっても (see Understanding ようにも in this context). も is commonly used as part of a total negation, as in 何もない ("There is nothing") and どこにもいかない ("I'll go to nowhere"). Therefore, どうにも is basically like "no mater (one says) how". If used in a negative sentence, it sounds like "in no way".

  • Looks like the first definition explains どうにも as a variant of どうも meaning "somehow" or "anyway". Another example is どうにも困りました ("Well, this is quite a problem!").
  • どうにも in the second definition is a variant of どうしても or "in no way". どうにもならない is a set phrase that literally means "become (something) in no way", but it's typically translated as "amounts to nothing". どうしようにも means "no matter how one tries".

Is this a shortening of にしても?

What does this mean? どうにしても makes no sense. にしても exists as a colloquial abbreviation of それにしても, but this has nothing to do with どうにも.


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