I'm looking for an explanation of the usage "あったものじゃない”.


1)ムードも何もあったものじゃありませんね (context:Girlfriend and boyfriend were out on a date and the boyfriend's stomach made a large noise because he hasn't eaten all day)



Looking at these expressions in context they seem to strongly deny the part before も何もあったものではない, but can someone explain the way the grammar is used here?


2 Answers 2


My true feeling is that the expression 「~~も[何]{なに}もあったものではない」 should be memorized (and actively used) as a common idiom than be analyzed grammatically.

It is an expression of "total" negation. "There is no ~~ whatsoever!"

「~~も何も」 lumps together things that are like or related to "~~". See http://kotobank.jp/word/%E4%BD%95%E3%82%82?dic=daijisen&oid=13802800

「あった」: Do not take this to be the past tense. Rather, take it to be in the hypothetical form because with this phrase, you want to say "~~ could not exist." You are only stating your opinion; You are not stating a fact. What I mean by that is that 「あったものではない」 is not an expression about something that actually existed, exists or will/might exist. In that sense, it is tense-free to begin with.

A better-known expression for J-learners would be 「~~した方{ほう}がいい」, which is also an expression for stating an opinion rather than a fact. People often ask "Why use the past-tense た?" in it, but again, that is NOT the past-tense た. The speaker is only giving advice; It is only his opinion. Just like 「あったものではない」, this is not an expression about someone actually doing something in the past, present or future. It is "tenseless".

「もの」 here is a nominalizer with a special function to express one's judgement emphatically. See Definition 5-ア in http://kotobank.jp/word/%E7%89%A9?dic=daijisen&oid=18293900



I haven't formally studied this, but from exposure, I've taken it to mean the following:

心の準備も何も+negative: not even psychologically prepared, not even anything at all

The negative sentence ending could be できていない, for example. Since all the objects in your example sentences are nouns, they can also take ある・ない, which skips the step of choosing an appropriate verb. Note that in conversation you can actually stop at 何も, and the negative will be assumed by listeners.

Suffixing もの and placing the negative after that adds further emphasis: "there was nothing like that at all." Compare to "not a damn thing" in English.

  • Not really, it is more of an idiom.
    – desseim
    Sep 1, 2019 at 15:39

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