What is the the difference between どこでも vs. どこにでも vs. どこも? I thought どこでも was anywhere, どこにでも was everywhere, and どこも was also everywhere... but then I didn't know what the difference would be between the latter two.

  • 1
    I think Derek Schaab's answer offers some help.
    – Flaw
    Oct 10 '13 at 16:11
  • 4
    Where do these simplistic translations ("anywhere" and "everywhere") come from? Depending on the context, you need to consider "nowhere", "any place", "all the places", "none of the places", etc. as well.
    – user4032
    Nov 14 '13 at 0:01
  • どこも = all the places (あちらも、こちらも、どの場所も) どこでも = any place (どこでも行ける (I can go to any place)) and I think どこにでも is synonym with どこでも
    – Lake
    Apr 22 '15 at 16:19
  • Naruto-san's answer here would be of help, too: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/17697/…
    – Chocolate
    Apr 18 '16 at 6:25

To clear up the situation:

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  1. In the first place, どこ is grammatically a noun "what place" in Japanese, thus is always accompanied by particles when it appears in a sentence. This applies to all question words except どんな (adjective) and どう (adverb).

  2. There are three series of 取り立て助詞 ("focus particle") that are involved in this question. 取り立て助詞 usually attach to another particle from behind, except when が or を comes before, then they'll eat it.

    • も (with negative verb)
      It works like English "not ... any X", "no X" if attaches to a question word. Combined with どこ, "not [preposition] any place" or "[preposition] nowhere". The accent pattern of phrase always be accentless (no pitch downstep within the phrase).
    • も (without negative verb)
      Works like "every X" with a question word. Combined with どこ, "[preposition] every place" or "[preposition] everywhere". The accent pattern is that of the base noun (i.e. follows どこ{HL}).
    • でも
      Works like "any X" with a question word. Combined with どこ, "[preposition] any place" or "anywhere". The accent pattern is usually accentless, but when you put emphasis on this phrase, the accent of the base noun is restored. Note that since this particle is originated from だ + も, therefore you can't attach it after だ once again.
    • ~も vs ~でも
      We disproportionately prefer "どこ + particle + でも" to "どこ + particle + も" (positive). I've only heard this positive も series used in "every X ... each Y" construction. The same seems to apply to all question words.

      Every place has its own troubles of life you'll never know until you live there.

  3. As you can see, the form どこも appears in two slots, and どこでも confusingly enough takes up six slots(!). Let's summarize them.

    • どこも
      • (not) any place (subject/object): どこが/を + も(neg.) [どこも{LHH}]
      • every place (subject/object): どこが/を + も(pos.) [どこも{HLL}]
    • どこでも
      • any place (subject/object): どこが/を + でも [どこでも{LHHH}, どこでも{HLLL}]
      • (not) at/in any place: どこ + で + も(neg.) [どこでも{LHHH}]
      • at/in every place: どこ + で + も(pos.) [どこでも{HLLL}] (infrequent)
      • at/in any place: どこ + で + でも [どこでも{LHHH}, どこでも{HLLL}]
      • be (not) any place, be (not) anywhere: どこ + だ + も(neg.) [どこでも{LHHH}]
      • be every/any place, be every/any-where: どこ + だ + も(pos.) [どこでも{LHHH}, どこでも{HLLL}]
    • どこにでも
      • to/at any place: どこ + に + でも [どこにでも{LHHHH}, どこにでも{HLLLL}]

For the usage of に vs で, please refer to the following questions:


I think it might help you if rather than analyzing どこも and the rest as individual words, but as a instance of a general ‘interrogative + も’ pattern. That is from どこ ‘where/which place’ and the particle も ‘also/even’ one get どこも (doko mo) meaning something along the lines of ‘all/any place(s)’ or ‘no place’ given whether it is attached to an affirmative or negative predicate, respectively.

どこにも (doko ni mo) and どこでも (doko de mo) are just cases where you have other particles attached similar to cases like 〜には (-ni wa) or 〜では (-de wa).


I would say, どこでも and どこにでも mean anywhere, and どこも means everywhere.


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