I've seen several native Japanese sentences, particularly in novels and music, where there are two words that both mean the same thing but are still used together.

My most recent situation is as follows: 「記憶のすべて何もかも黒に沈めて堕ちていく。」

「記憶のすべて」 is referring to the entirety of the speaker's memories. But why has 何もかも been added after? It is perhaps to add emphasis? Is there a way to translate it into natural English?

1 Answer 1


Altogether, it would mean something on the lines of "Each and every of his memories turned black."

I left it as "turned black" because, even though I understand that it probably means that he's lost them, as I'm not aware of the context, I can't offer a better suited adaptation. Still, as you see, chaining up expressions that translate to the same in English has the same effect as using a higher tier of the same expression in English, close to what you say of "adding emphasis".

  • Aha! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I figured that was the case, however, I couldn't think of an English equivalent. Which normally, I don't mind. I know what it means in Japanese. But I happen to be translating this song for somebody, haha. I can handle the context then. Thank you for the help! Jul 9, 2015 at 23:17

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