I recently came across this sentence, and I'm having trouble figuring out what 何 is doing. (I'm fine with the rest.)


Based on context, my best attempt is: even if something were to happen, it'd probably be fine. But I thought 何 means "what", and only 何か could mean "something".

Does 何 always mean "something" when used in the pattern 何 + te-form + も? Or is this a fixed expression that I haven't seen before? Can 何 mean something without か in other situations as well?

Is 何かがあっても、大丈夫だろ。also a grammatically correct sentence?

1 Answer 1


This is one of those times when translating literally doesn't quite give you what you want. The sentence means something along the lines of "no matter what happens, it'll probably be fine." The 何 in this case is the "what" in question. 何かがあっても、大丈夫だろ is also grammatically correct (I think?), but it sounds a bit weird to me. That would basically be saying "even if something happens, it'll probably be fine." In these sentences, も is what keeps 何 from becoming an interrogative, introducing the meaning "even if," or "no matter if/that," as well as the idea of being all-inclusive (basically, imagine 何 as any possible 何 that could happen--in Engish, we would call this "anything"). Sorry if I couldn't explain it well.

  • 1
    The book I've been studying from helpfully points out that question word + te form verb + も more generally makes a "no matter" phrase: どこに行っても = "even if I go where" = "no matter where I go", だれと話しても = "even if I talk to who" = "no matter who I talk with", etc
    – rickster
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 6:27

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