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  1. 「彼は映画スターであり、政治家もだ。」 means "He is a movie star, and a politician is a movie star, too" (from Tsuyoshi's comment below this other post)

  2. 「彼は映画スターであり、政治家でもある。」 means "He is a movie star and also a politician." (Source)

If we were to replace だ with である in (1), we have: 「彼は映画スターであり、政治家もである」. Sawa suggests that で has to be attached to a noun for a sentence to be grammatical, so after swapping the positions of も and で, we have: 「彼は映画スターであり、政治家でもある」.

What I cannot understand is why does replacing だ to である (and applying the necessary で and も swap) changes the meaning of the sentence?

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  • The も・で swap isn't ‘necessary’. Rather もで and でも mean different things, but もで is considered ungrammatical (for some reason), so you only see でも.
    – Zhen Lin
    Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 11:22
  • 2
    @Zhen: Both もだ and もである are grammatical, and have the same meaning, just like だ and である. (でもある has a different meaning, as you stated.) Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 12:10
  • @Tsuyoshi: Yeah, but もで on its own just feels very strange to me. もである is perhaps better analysed as も plus である taken as a verb, and so the て-form of that construction ought to be もで... but it just sounds weird.
    – Zhen Lin
    Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 12:55
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    @Zhen: I do not find もで strange, and I am not sure why you do. Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 13:27
  • Hey guys thanks for all the help, I'd finally got it =D
    – Pacerier
    Commented Sep 16, 2011 at 1:29

1 Answer 1

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You are misunderstanding where the difference is.

彼は映画スターであり、政治家もだ。

There are two は in this sentence: 彼は and 政治家は, but the latter is hidden behind も. You thus have the following: 彼は映画スターである and 政治家も映画スターである。

彼は映画スターであり、政治家でもある

There is only one は in this sentence: 彼は, but there are two "である", the latter being augmented with a も. You thus have the following: 彼は映画スターである and 彼は政治家で(も)ある。.

To sum up: もである is different from でもある. It's not the だ/である that makes the difference.

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