7

I've seen from this link and other sources that verb-てまで means "to the point of verb" or "to the extent of verb". But I can't make this work in the phrase below.

必死で努力してまでほめられるの...

being praised to the point of being frantic and making effort.

From the context I think it should be talking about being frantic and making effort so that he can get praise.

Is there another interpretation of verb-てまで that makes more sense here?

  • I'm no expert, but I think your interpretation is backwards, and that the idea is "being praised enough that x will work as hard as possible" or something like that. Someone more knowledgeable could correct me if I'm wrong. – Kurausukun Nov 9 '15 at 2:36
7

To approach it from a different angle, it may be useful to know that 〜してまで is about weighing the worth of actions. Often the whole construct is negated, meaning that Y is not worth X:

[X してまで Y する] 〜ない
Y is not worth doing X


Breakdown: Negated example

お金を払ってまで食べようとは思わない
I don't feel like eating it to the extent of paying money.

You're actually weighing two things, and saying that 食べる is not worth お金を払う:

[お金を払う してまで 食べる] 〜ようとは思わない


Breakdown: Non-negated example

命をかけてまで助けてくれた
They saved me, to the point of risking their life.

Here, the rescuer weighed the two things, and decided that 助ける was worth 命をかける:

[命をかける してまで 助ける] 〜してくれた


必死で努力してまでほめられる

I'm not sure about the context of the ellipsis in your example, but even from that stub you can parse the overall sentiment as:

ほめられる is not worth 必死で努力する

The ellipsis could signify a question (Is getting praise worth making a frantic effort…?), or disapproval (Wow, making a frantic effort for praise…). Or it could actually be a non-negated statement, like “必死で努力してまでほめられるのが好き!” (I like getting praise so much that it is worth a frantic effort!).

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.