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I'm going back over my notes from Japanese For Busy People. I no longer have the books but I wrote out many of the examples. What I have not always done is write down my teacher's explanations. Hopefully I can get an answer here.

In these two examples we see けっこう and いい used. I remember using けっこう for saying one does not want any more tea (いいえ、もう けっこう です) but I don't know if it is the same usage here. More commonly I use もう いい です. So seeing けっこう here has confused me.

Could somebody explain the difference between these two examples please?

今 ペンが ありません。 えんぴつで も いい です か。
はい、えんぴつで も けっこう です。

今 現金が ありません。 カードで も いい です か。
はい、 カードで も いい です。

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    Did you notice that you are talking about もう いい・けっこう です, but the example sentences ~も いい・けっこう です don't use もう, but も? – Earthliŋ May 19 '15 at 13:36
  • I had not noticed! Ha Ha Ha! – VictorySaber May 19 '15 at 14:12
  • Then I recommend you look up why and how they are different, because they are so very different... A simple dictionary look-up (e.g. on jisho.org) will already put you miles ahead of where you were when you thought that もう and も were the same. – Earthliŋ May 19 '15 at 14:22
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We are talking about two different (though related) shades of meaning of 「けっこう」 here.

"no longer in need of ~~"

「もうけっこうです。」 means "I want no more ~~."

「もういいです。」 has at least two meanings. One is the same as 「もうけっこうです。」, but it is less formal than 「もうけっこうです。」. The other meaning is "(Something) is ready to (or 'to be') ~~."

"sufficient", "satisfactory", etc.

「えんぴつでもけっこうです。」 = "A pencil will suffice (if you have no pen)."

「カードでもいいです。」 = "A credit card would be no problem (if you do not have cash.)" A store clerk would generally speak more formal than that and would say 「カードでもけっこうです。」.

Hope this helps.

  • I can see that けっこう is used for more formality. Thank you! – VictorySaber May 19 '15 at 14:27
  • By the by, does 「もういいです。」 come off as rude to the listener? I get the impression that it's kinda blunt. – akj May 19 '15 at 15:55
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    @akj: You are right. もういいです can mean "Enough (is enough)" depending on the context. – eltonjohn Jun 20 '15 at 13:18

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