For example in the sentence:


  • Oh, sorry. I meant for the example sentence to be: 書くだけでいいですか. Without the mo. So the question is basically, is でいい the same as でもいい.
    – user3744
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 7:38
  • でいい means just that (それでいい?), でもいい implies asking for permission for sth. that may be troublesome. (You are aware of the side effects? それでもいい?) 書くだけでいいですか -> All I need to do is to write (eg sth. down) 書くだけでもいいですか -> All I want to do is to write, may I?
    – blutorange
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 9:22
  • 1
    What is wrong with this question? (why is it downvoted?)
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 13:25
  • 3
    I would like to know that too... please explain why the downvote, it is pointless downvoting without further details.
    – Andry
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 13:58

2 Answers 2


The meanings are quite similar, but there's a subtle difference.

Both phrases involve settling for something, or one person making a choice on behalf of another: お昼ごはんはハンバーガーでいい? "Would a hamburger do for lunch?" Or something is sufficient: そこにおくだけでいいです "Please just put it there [and I'll do the rest.]"

But でもいい has an added sense that there is something better or preferable out there, but you are settling, or asking, for something less. This comes from the use of でも, which has a negative conjunction.

That is, お昼ごはんはハンバーガーでもいい? has a nuance of, "I know you like something else," or perhaps, "I don't know if you like a hamburger or not." Another example would be: 名前を書くだけでもいいですか? and this would mean something like, "[You want to me to put down my address for this petition, but] would it be OK if I just write my name?"

  • Intonation/emphasis also has an effect here, right? Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 0:02
  • I corrected the spelling, grammar, and punctuation, which I think should be uncontroversial. Additionally, I couldn't help but also change the formatting a little, mainly highlighting the Japanese text. Only because otherwise there was so much punctuation it was a little hard to read. I hope that's acceptable.
    – Questioner
    Commented Jan 11, 2014 at 6:35
  • So the も makes it "Would a hamburger do for lunch as well?" (or "also")? Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 4:17

I cannot comment yet, but I would just like to add a sidenote to the existing answer by Kawaguchi-san

There is a site that I use for my studies now, and recently I found a very helpful article there on the difference between でいい and がいい

I just thought that this might be a good addition/expansion on the topic

P.S. Also, to understand the nuance, I personally find it helpful to translate も in でもいい as ”even", e.g. これだけでいいですか? > Is it OK even if I do just this?

Though, if you draw a parallel with the 'usual' function of も in general and, especially, も/は for amounts (e.g. 百人もいました > There were as many as a hundred people), then a 'more universal' translation would be "as much/as many as", so the example about would translate as "Is it OK if I do just as much as this?"

Interesting, I have not thought about it before I started writing this

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