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I am a bit confused about a sentence I came across in an anki deck:

誰もその話を知らない。

I know that that 誰 means "who" and も means "also", but the translation it gives me is:

"No one knows that story."

Someone please explain.

Thank you n_n

2 Answers 2

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by itself does not mean 'who'. Nor does always mean 'also'. Words like are called indeterminates, and are more essential than wh-words (It can be a part of the meaning of a wh-word; Not wh-word itself). only means 'some variable (something that does not have a fixed reference) that ranges over people'. Depending on what particle it is used with, it would be translated into different words in English:

誰 who
誰か someone
誰も anyone/everyone

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  • Thank you so much! I haven't learned about indeterminates yet. You were very helpful. It makes a lot of sense now. n_n
    – smkraft
    Dec 1, 2011 at 20:21
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used with a negative verb 誰も means no one or nobody.

誰もその卑わいな冗談を笑わなかった。No one laughed at the obscene joke.

Used with a regular verb (positive?) it can mean anyone, anybody, everybody or everyone.

誰もがその話を知っている。Everyone knows that story.

誰もそのことに異存[異論]はない。Everyone agrees about that. (No one objects to that.)

here are a number of examples http://eow.alc.co.jp/誰もその/UTF-8/?ref=sa

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    [誰もその話を知っている。Everyone knows that story.] - Shouldn't that be 誰でも or 誰もが?
    – istrasci
    Dec 1, 2011 at 23:09
  • I also was going to ask about 誰でも. So does it mean everyone or anyone? Or something else entirely?
    – dotnetN00b
    Mar 6, 2012 at 3:48
  • @dotnetNOOb it can mean everyone , anyone or noone when used with ない. depends on context: eow.alc.co.jp/search?q=誰でも&ref=sa
    – yadokari
    Mar 6, 2012 at 17:00

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