The writer is complaining that men are useless at cooking. They burn pans, they make more mess than is necessary and:


I can't fully understand this construction. I know the essence is that men use too many plates but that's all I can understand.

In particular I don't know what も is doing. I'm not sure if this is a question, a rhetorical question or a statement. Nor am I sure of the intonation (i.e. rising at the end or not).

In English we might say "and how many plates do they use". Depending on the intonation this could be a plain question or a rhetorical question where we simply mean that they use too many plates. I'm guessing the Japanese is this latter usage but I have no idea.


This 「も」 expresses the speaker's surprise or exclamation about the (large) quantity or (high) frequency that is being discussed. It is used when the quantity or frequency exceeds one's expectations.

「[何]{なん} + Counter + も」 = "so many (noun)"

「Actual Number + Counter + も」 = "(number) + (noun) + to one's surprise"

「[何枚]{なんまい}も[皿]{さら}をつかう」, therefore, means:

"(men) use so many plates (than you would expect) while cooking"

This is an exclamatory statement, and not a question or rhetorical question.

As for the pronunciation, you do not use a rising intonation. If anything, we would usually enunciate the 「なん」 part and the actual number part respectively.

For reference, see definition #5 in デジタル大辞泉:

  • I agree overall with your answer, except for the emphasis on "exceed's one expectations" which seems overly constraining for the definition. e.g. 当然ですが、上手になるためなん回も練習しなきゃ – Craig Hicks Jul 5 '16 at 19:56

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