I am still reading the 十二国記 novel 月の影 影の海. At the end of the first part, after a rather harrowing day, Yoko is riding a leopard-like magical creature, flying through the night sky, when they are attacked by a multitude of enemy creatures. Eventually trapped, she is thrown off the leopard's back, falling from the sky. She opens her eyes, sees a boar-like creature coming at her, and feels a flesh-tearing impact in her right hand. She hears a creature's scream and her own yell. Then follows this sentence:


I understand the general gist of the sentence - at this point her five senses give in - figuratively joining her body in falling into the darkness.

The trouble I'm having is with the までもが there. This is not the first time I run into a もが - I've seen 誰もが already, but it, too, confuses me.

How does が following も work? What is the meaning of this particular case (までもが), is there any relation between this construct and 誰もが, and are there additional examples of such も+が constructs?

  • 1
    By the way, isn't the book titled 十二国記, instead of 中二国記? Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 4:43
  • Yes, fixed the typo. Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 8:45

1 Answer 1


There is a small set of quasi-noun idioms made of question words + , which roughly means "every-X". Since they are nouns, they can theoretically put any kind of postpositions after them. But actually they are only used with , less often or , and sometimes (except for いつも, which is a full-fledged noun).

  • Who: 誰{だれ}も, 誰{だれ}もかも, 誰{だれ}も彼{かれ}も "everybody"
  • What: 何{なに}もかも "everything"
  • When: いつも "every time, the usual" (full-fledged noun)
  • Which: どれも, いずれも, どちらも, どの noun も, いずれの noun も "any one, any of ..."

The quasi-nouns may have different accents to ordinary combinations:

だれも{HLL}が vs. だれも{LHH}いない, どれも{HLL}が vs. どれも{LHH}いらない

The questioned までも is considered to be a derivation of them, which could be translated into "everything down to X" or "eventually X (with all other things)". Similar expressions are さえも and すらも, both with boundary-delimiting particles.

  • I wonder how it could be considered a derivation, as no question word is involved. Is there an implied question word that I'm missing? Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 9:26
  • My original intention was that, it's contraction of what would be like "までの何もかも", but on second thought, I'm unclear now. The meaning is just what I've given. Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 9:43

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